Q&A with St. Jude Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center Medical Director Brad Silveira, MD

October 12, 2018

Reflections on Detection:

Q: Why is having regular mammograms important?

Studies show that having a regular mammography screening—meaning once a year—cuts lives lost by breast cancer by almost a third in all women age 40 and over. Early detection is still the single most effective way to beat breast cancer. Any woman over the age of 40 should be getting screened annually.

Q: What is the most promising breakthrough you’ve seen in the fight against breast cancer?

Number one: cutting-edge technology for early detection—particularly the 3D mammography, or digital tomosynthesis, technology that St. Jude is striving to acquire. This advancement is a huge leap forward in preventative screening, increasing the detection rate of breast cancer by 40% in several studies compared to traditional mammography, and saving thousands of women from the anxiety of additional scans and callbacks. We need this technology. We owe it to the women in our lives and future generations.

Q: What personally motivates you in the work that you do?

Hands down, my patients. I truly care about the people who entrust me with their care. I want to do everything possible to ensure they have the best possible outcomes, so that they can live long, full and prosperous lives.

Also, I’ve personally lost several people in my life to breast cancer, including my first wife. Far too many people are affected by this disease, and I am motivated by the advancements we are seeing in technology and immunotherapies that may one day lead to breast cancer being eradicated.

Q: What do you want to say to our donor community?

Thank you so much for your investment in the work that we do. The technology at my fingertips, the research you enable, the facilities in which we practice—none of it would be possible without your support. Every life I touch, please know that you are right there with me. I am so immensely grateful.

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