Amy Robach Keynote Speech Criticizes Federal Mammogram Recommendations at Physicians’ Education Resource’s 33rd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference

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Robach Delivers Enthralling Keynote on Breast Cancer Survival

We have to speak up, we have to speak out. We have to continue to educate women about what their rights are; and yes, we have to lobby Congress, and do it better. Because it isn’t good enough.

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In a speech that was described by conference Program Chair, Dr. Patrick I. Borgen, as one of the most powerful keynote speeches in all 33 years of the Miami Breast Cancer Conference, breast cancer survivor and “Good Morning America” news anchor Amy Robach delivered a compelling keynote address at the recently concluded 33rd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference® that was as pointed as it was emotional.

Robach’s speech criticized new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines that push up the recommended age to 50 years for starting mammogram screening, and her message of personal challenge and achievement drew a standing ovation from the assembly of breast cancer oncologists and other health care workers.

Recognized as one of the top breast cancer meetings worldwide, the Miami Breast Cancer Conference is a unique educational event that brings together leading national and international surgical and medical oncologists to present and evaluate cutting-edge technology and approaches in the management of breast cancer. The conference is run by Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC (PER®), the “go-to” source for oncology and hematology continuing medical education.

In her speech, Robach described how she rose above the disease and found deeper appreciation for life. And for a time, the patient became the advisor to the physicians in attendance, offering advice on lobbying Washington to achieve screening recommendations for women starting at age 40; how and when to approach patients about a positive diagnosis; how to discuss with patients whether to get genetic testing; and how to prepare them for coping with the ravages of disease and treatment.

Some of her strongest criticism was directed at her own news profession. Robach described having delivered some of those same headlines on screening guidelines without fully understanding the significance for that statistical subset of women who would miss out on opportunities to catch their own breast cancer early in development.

As she said, “I have some very persuasive colleagues to thank. They pushed me past those dangerous, seductive headlines that tell young women they don’t need to be tested for breast cancer if they’re at average risk for disease. We all know that family history only predicts a small percentage of breast cancer patients, so I don’t buy into this average-risk security blanket that they’re pedaling. No one can tell me that a mammogram didn’t save my life.”

Additionally, in response to a question about how to get recommendations for breast cancer screening changed, she said, “We have to speak up, we have to speak out. We have to continue to educate women about what their rights are; and yes, we have to lobby Congress, and do it better. Because it isn’t good enough.”

Currently in her second year as “GMA” news anchor, Robach learned of her breast cancer in October 2013 following her first ever mammogram (broadcast live in front of millions of viewers) on the show’s "Goes Pink Day" telecast during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After receiving her diagnosis, Robach publically made the announcement of her cancer on a subsequent “GMA” broadcast before having a double mastectomy and subsequent treatment. She has since written a best-selling book, “Better,” that chronicles her journey of the 12 months following her breast cancer diagnosis.

The Miami Breast Cancer Conference has been recognized for decades as one of the top breast cancer meetings worldwide. Advances are occurring in all aspects of patient care, including prevention, screening and detection, as well as in the primary treatment modalities of surgery, radiation therapy, endocrine therapy, cytotoxic chemotherapy and novel biologic therapies. The multidisciplinary conference is the premiere forum for fostering awareness of state-of-the-art treatments in each therapeutic area and encouraging cross-team cooperation. Pioneers of innovative approaches, in each of these subspecialties, provide insight into the optimal multidisciplinary management of breast cancer patients and its application to practice.

About Physicians’ Education Resource
As a leader in continuing medical education (CME) for nearly 20 years, Physicians’ Education Resource (PER) educates more U.S.-based oncologists and hematologists through online activities and live annual CME-certified conferences than any other medical education provider. PER provides high-quality, evidence-based, CME-certified activities that translate the science of oncology into the art of patient care by featuring leading national and international faculty that focus on practice-changing advances that help the busy oncologist stay up-to-date with cutting-edge oncology knowledge and treatments. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, PER serves the broader oncology health care community, including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists. PER is part of Michael J. Hennessy Associates Inc., a full-service health care communications company offering education, research and medical media.

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