albright-dacarlaIn light of the recent the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) proposal, I immediately think of my 46 year-old patient, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, after routine annual screening. I call her one of my “favorites” and look forward to seeing her each year. We get to talk, laugh, share mothering notes, parenting beautiful daughters. This year, I gave her extra hugs, and comforting words, as I referred her to a breast surgeon. How did this happen? She had no family history, no breast concerns, and was definitely not in a high risk category. But, a 6 mm invasive breast cancer was detected with 3D mammography. At least it was early, and the interventions allowed the option of breast conservation. My patient is thankful that she was referred for routine screening, annually.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Approximately 40,000 women die from breast cancer each year, with as many as 10,000 deaths from cancer that potentially could have been diagnosed with screening mammography prior to the age of 50. These thousands of women represent mothers, sisters, wives and friends. They are my patients. Yet in its new recommendations the USPSTF demonstrated it believes these numbers are insignificant. (more…)

TBT: Taking A Stand Against the USPSTF’s “New Breast Cancer Guidelines”

Grace Bender

On November 11, 2009 we ran the post below. For many this week when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its draft breast cancer screening recommendation it was deja vous.

As a member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance Board and a breast cancer survivor, I welcome readers of Disruptive Women in Health Care to read the statement below that was released by Komen as a result of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force “new breast cancer guidelines.” In addition, please visit the Komen website: and take a stand and action by signing the petition and help ensure that all women have access to this lifesaving screening.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Recommends No Impediments to Breast Cancer Screening (more…)

Snap to It: Passing the Torch of Advocacy and Change

Janice Lynch Schuster

Any given week, one of my five Millennial children is out volunteering for community-based groups, or marching in the streets for social justice. Although I like to think that I had some influence on their propensity to serve and advocate, they deny this. Instead, they tell me, they are driven by motives and experiences that are entirely their own.

Even so, they were all in grade school when I took them to their first rally: the Million Mom March on Washington to protest gun violence. They were in middle school when I joined a candlelight vigil to protest the war in Iraq, and in high school when I canvassed for Kerry and Obama. Their father, my former husband, played his part, too, having them volunteer at organizations that serve the homeless in our community, and other groups that help vulnerable people thrive.

It could be, I guess, that children take less notice of us than parents believe (or take notice, for years, of our shortcomings). I have no doubt, though, that my parents influenced me to try to change the world for the better. (more…)

SWHR Honors Champions of Women’s Health at their 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner

swhrThe Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) held their annual black-tie gala on March, 25, 2015. This year celebrated 25 years of transforming women’s health. More than 600 guests gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Washington D.C. to commemorate this milestone.

Judy Woodruff was the evening’s master of ceremony. The gala honored the accomplishments of several champions of women’s health, and opened with an anniversary video, chronicling SWHR’s efforts to put women’s health at the forefront of research. (more…)

HIMSS15: The Patient Takes Center Stage

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following was originally posted by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie.

Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post called SXSW: Woodstock for Geeks, which became the opening chapter of Tech Tonics, the book I wrote with David Shaywitz. In this piece, I pointed out the marked differences between SXSW vs. HIMSS, both of which I had recently experienced.   I said that HIMSS was best described as “a festival of old-school techno weenies recognizable in the wild by their big company expense accounts and the blue and gray suits that barely cover their pocket protectors.” In contrast, I experienced SXSW as an event that “would blanche at the thought of being called a conference. SXSW is more of a happening.  Rather than suits (the costume is old jeans and rock and roll t-shirts), the primary thing that comes in blue is hair.” My conclusion of the 2012 piece was this:

“In a perfect world, the ideal HIT gathering would be somewhere psychologically between HIMSS and SXSW:  fewer gray suits, less purple hair, more next generation technology, more business models that work.   If we could do a little cross breeding between species here, we just might make it work. Or we could accidentally end up with the Monster from Young Frankenstein.  Wait a minute, my God it’s brilliant! He might actually be perfect!  The Monster had both a gray suit AND a green head.  If he knows how to code, we have a winner.  Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” (more…)

   Event Photos

View all event photos »

   Upcoming Event
The Walking Gallery
Jun 15 - 15 2015
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

View events calendar »

Our newest eBook "The Different Faces of Caregiving" explores the state of caregiving in the United States. Download it today!
Download our two new ebooks »
   Are you Disruptive?

Disruptive Women is looking for submissions from women in the health care field, from doctors and nurses to policy experts and legislators. Learn more »
Find out where you can find our Disruptive Women on TV, in the news and on bookshelves.
Read more details »