“First, do no harm” is a guiding principle for physicians emphasizing that the patient’s well-being is the primary consideration. One physician who personifies that principle and has been helping men and women with breast health concerns and diagnoses for 30-years is Dr. Robin Shermis of the ProMedica Breast Care Center (located in the Harris McIntosh Tower on the Toledo Hospital Campus, 2121 Hughes Dr.)
Dr. Shermis, 61, a radiologist, received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine followed by a his residency at the University of Michigan. He said “I always had a strong interest in breast cancer and breast imaging” and consider myself “a champion” in the fight against breast cancer.
A retired bank employee and bookkeeper, Diana LaPlante, 67, formerly of Toledo and now a resident of Pickerington Ohi, she explained how she came to know Dr. Shermis and how he helped her cope with her fear: “In May of 2015 I had a mammogram that looked not right so they brought him (Dr. Shermis) in and he said there was a little spot on my mammogram and he wanted me to come back in six months. When I came back, as he suspected, it got a little bigger although it never got very big and so he caught it right away, performed a biopsy and found it was cancer. He knew I was upset and talked to me in his office and showed me my mammogram and explained what was going to happen. I felt a little more comfortable after his explanation. He was very sympathetic and compassionate, so caring and I was happy and relieved I was under his care. I am grateful to him.” In January 2016, Ms. LaPlante had a lumpectomy, since that time she has had two mammograms that were negative.
According to the American Cancer Society, men should see a health care professional if they experience all or some of the following symptoms: “A lump or swelling, which is usually (but not always) painless, skin dimpling or puckering, nipple retraction (turning inward), redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin, discharge from the nipple.”
One point of controversy is when women should begin mammogram screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force mammogram guidelines recommend women begin screening at age 50. Dr. Shermis takes extreme issue with screening at 50.
He said “(Screening) unequivocally should begin at the age of 40 with a mammogram every year. That controversy has been stimulated by people who are trying to save money not trying to save lives,” said Dr. Shermis, adding “People should know that our goal is to detect breast cancers early, when are they more curable. The treatments and the ability to detect cancers really improved over the last years, both with a better mammogram, better ultrasound and better MRI and MBI equipment.”
According to breastcancer.org, “About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2017. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000
To find out more about the
ProMedica Breast Cancer Center, call
419-291-2131 or visit their website at