Press Center > 2011 >



Torrance, Calif., October 17, 2011 - In response to recent debate over age-guideline recommendations for routine screening mammograms, experts from Torrance Memorial's Vasek & Anna Maria Polak Breast Diagnostic Center will discuss topical issues in breast health and breast cancer during a panel discussion and open house titled "Straight Talk on Breast Cancer" on Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Torrance Memorial Health Conference Center.  

The esteemed physicians panel includes David Chan, M.D., Oncology; Thyra Endicott, M.D., Radiation Oncology; Melanie Friedlander, M.D., Surgery; Frances, McKindsey, M.D., Obstetrics/Gynecology; and Patricia Sacks, M.D., Radiology, medical director, Torrance Memorial Polak Breast Diagnostic Center.

The discussion will include recommendations following a 30-year study that found women who had regular screening mammograms were 31 percent less likely to die of breast cancer, compared to women who didn't get regular screening mammograms.

"We've made tremendous advances in treatments such as radiation and lumpectomy, so the results women achieve are now the same as from radical mastectomy, but with less devastating outcomes," said Patricia Sacks, M.D., medical director, Polak Breast Diagnostic Center. "We plan to discuss the diagnostic and treatment options in plain English so woman understand what's available and are encouraged to take charge of their health."

The very large, long-term Swedish study, which began in 1977 and involved 133,000 women ages 40 to 74, was published in the June 2011 issue of Radiology. It found for every 414 women screened over seven years, one death from breast cancer was prevented.

The value of routine mammogram screening had been questioned in November 2009 when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that routine screening mammograms for women with an average risk of breast cancer should start at age 50 instead of 40. The recommended changes were very controversial and were not adopted. Much research supports the value of mammogram screening starting at age 40. U.S. guidelines call for all women age 40 and older to have screening mammograms every year. While not ideal, some women may choose to have a screening every other year.

Since 1986, the Vasek & Anna Maria Polak Breast Diagnostic Center at Torrance Memorial has been a leader in women's health care in the South Bay community and beyond. Designed for the specific needs and comfort of women, its four convenient locations are staffed with compassionate experts, including nurse navigators, trained specifically in breast disease.The Center is recognized by the American College of Radiology (ACR) as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence . In addition, the Breast Diagnostic Center is a member of the National Consortium of Breast Centers, a non-profit organization of breast health care professionals dedicated to the continued excellence and improvement of breast health care.  

The Center's board-certified radiologists use a full toolkit of imaging services for quick and accurate screening. All appointments and procedures take place in a single private suite, where patients and their families have access to radiologists and registered nurses who can answer any questions that arise. All four Breast Diagnostic Center locations are certified in mammography by the state of California, the FDA, and accredited by the ACR.

For more information on the event "Straight Talk on Breast Cancer, visit or call 310-517-4711.

About Torrance Memorial Medical Center

Founded in 1925 by Jared Sydney and Helena Childs Torrance, Torrance Memorial Medical Center is a locally governed, 401-bed, non-profit medical center established to provide quality healthcare services, predominantly to the residents of the South Bay, Peninsula and Harbor communities. Torrance Memorial seeks to offer the most current and effective medical technologies rendered in a compassionate, caring manner. For more information please visit:


Categories: Press Release

Related Articles