During Breast Cancer Awareness Month We Must Not Only Celebrate Our Success But Also Understand Our Limitations

Some good comments on Breast Cancer Awareness month, including cautionary notes on the ‘celebratory’ aspects by Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society. Quote:

But I fear that at times we have oversold our magic. I fear that despite all the progress and all the understanding about the disease, we still have too many women who either can’t get access to quality mammography, who can’t afford treatment, or who go bankrupt in the process. I fear that we have set expectations too high, while we are learning that our science is not as perfect as we would like it to be. I fear that we have too many tests chasing too few women for whose benefit some of the prescribed “solutions” are far from proven. I fear we have overpromised and sometimes underdelivered.

But this is a month of celebration, isn’t it?

Perhaps celebration isn’t the right word. Perhaps this is a month to celebrate awareness, to celebrate our successes, but also to acknowledge our limitations and recommit ourselves to improving our science and better applying our knowledge. Perhaps we should take an opportunity during this month to reflect on what we know, what we don’t know, what we would like to know, and how we can marshal our collective will to do better.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month We Must Not Only Celebrate Our Success But Also Understand Our Limitations.

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