Let’s change the conversation on breast cancer

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank Stanley Subaru for sponsoring WLBZ’s “Buddy to Buddy,” in which I have been appearing for 20-second promotions on Channel 2 advocating that women learn whether or not their breasts are dense. Density in a mammogram is white; tumors in a mammogram are white; density masks what you think your mammogram is revealing.

The promotion ends with me saying laughingly, “Why not prevent it in the first place?” But this is an important question. We now know the causes of cervical cancer and at last have a vaccine to prevent it. Cervical cancer will now only be found in medical history books! If we knew the causes of breast cancer, we could prevent it too. But patiently wishing and hoping has not reduced breast cancer mortality.

To do that, we are talking about dedicating breast cancer research toward understanding its causes, and focusing on prevention. Huge sums of money are involved and Congress holds the federal purse strings. Our U.S. representatives respond to what their constituents write or call about. Keep calling ours in Maine, especially [Bruce] Poliquin, for their support of preventing breast cancer, and the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Deadline 2020: by Jan. 1, 2020, we will know how to prevent breast cancer.

Another woman I know just died of breast cancer. You might know women or men who have died from it. In the United States, about 40,000 women and 400 men will succumb to breast cancer this year. Also, 522,000 will die around the world. It is too many. This has gone on too long . Why not prevent it in the first place? Let’s have that be the conversation now.

Nancy Greene

Deer Isle

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