“I still recommend that women have a mammogram by age 40 and continue to have them throughout their lives,” she said.
Dr. Tucker, a staff member at Melrose-Wakefield and Lawrence Memorial hospitals, cited the many choices women diagnosed with breast cancer have today, including lumpectomy versus mastectomy or declining to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
According to the USPSTF guidelines, mammogram screening is not the best chance for survival, but Tucker disagrees. She believes that pre-cancer screening is “crucial” and that the best chance of survival is early detection.
Tucker also promotes breast self-examinations. “I ask my patients to report anything that feels distinctly different in their breast tissue,” she said. “Many women have found their own cancers.”
Tucker said she chose the breast health field because she wanted to make a different in women’s lives. My approach for maintaining breast health is different from that of a general surgeon’s,” she said. “Saving women’s lives. That’s the focus of my work.”