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Fired For Breast Pumping—At Breast Clinic?

June 11, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging, Practice Management
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A Manhattan receptionist filed federal and state complaints last month accusing her former employer of firing her after ordering her to stop pumping breast milk for her baby at work—at a mammogram center.

Yadiris Rivera told the New York Daily News that when she returned from eight weeks of maternity leave in April 2009, Medical Imaging of Manhattan made her pump breast milk in the rest room and pressured her to switch to formula. She said her daughter, Erin, was allergic to formula.

New York law says mothers can pump breast milk at work for three years after giving birth, but Rivera said her employer told her she had to stop after one year. She said of her former bosses:

They were women. I thought they would understand, and it made it worse that they didn’t.

Medical Imaging administrator Colleen O’Brien said the company was “offended by these false allegations.” O’Brien said Rivera was laid off for economic reasons.

Catching up on other recent breast cancer-related news:

  • A national survey indicates that 95% of American women 40 or older do not know their breast density, and that nearly 90 percent did not know that having dense breasts is a risk factor for breast cancer. The survey of 599 women 40 or older, announced last month, was conducted online by a research company on behalf of U-Systems, which makes breast ultrasound systems and is pushing the idea of combining ultrasound with digital mammography to detect breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. So the sponsor of the poll has a vested interest in the breast-density issue. Still, only 9% of the women said their doctors had even talked to them about breast density. The company quoted Nancy M. Cappello, PhD, founder of Are You Dense, a nonprofit organization dedicated to informing the public about dense breast tissue, regarding the results: “Prior to finding out I had advanced breast cancer, I had annual mammograms, I ate healthy and exercised, and didn’t have a first-degree relative with breast cancer. … What I didn’t know was that I have dense breast tissue, and like two thirds of premenopausal women and one quarter of postmenopausal women, I have a much lower chance of having breast cancer detected by a mammogram. This survey underscores the need for women to have more information about their risk.”
  • Finally, this doesn’t have anything to do with radiology, but we can’t resist passing along the fact that a possible new screening test and treatment for breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers derives from shrew spit. CBC News (Canada’s public-broadcasting service) reported that biochemist Jack Stewart, recently retired from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, has identified and synthesized a chemical from the venomous saliva of the northern short-tailed shrew (a mouselike mammal). The chemical, called soricidin, blocks calcium from entering breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer cells, thus killing them. It targets only cancer cells, not healthy ones. During his research, Stewart spent years trapping shrews in his rural backyard, luring them with pepperoni.

Related seminar: Pittsburgh Breast Imaging Seminar

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One Response to “Fired For Breast Pumping—At Breast Clinic?”

  1. Myths About Breastfeeding | World University Information on June 11th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    […] Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Fired For Breast Pumping—At Breast … […]