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Dr Gelareh Farshid

Professor Amanda Page

Dr Gelareh Farshid

Dr Gelareh Farshid is a surgical pathologist and expert in population based mammographic screening, serving as the Clinical Director of BreastScreen SA for the last decade, until July 2016. She has served as a Senior Consultant Pathologist at South Australian Pathology since 1997.

Gelareh’s research focus includes optimizing the assessment outcomes for women with screen detected breast lesions and improving the accuracy of biomarker evaluation. Gelareh serves on several international and national pathology and screening committees.

Screening for Breast Cancer: Leaving Behind a Manufactured Controversy and Optimising its Future Thursday 10 November 2016

Population based mammographic screening is a bold response to the significant public health issue of breast cancer, the leading cause of female cancer deaths world-wide.

Despite being an intensely studied field of medicine, screening mammography remains controversial. Seemingly every few months, headlines decry its deficiencies and with predictable regularity, every few years, reviews are commissioned which examine the same trial data and almost invariably conclude that screening saves lives. Unlike mammograms, the debate is not truly black and white. Screening has strengths and drawbacks.

Screening programs were conceived in a simpler world 20-30 years ago, when shielded from the truth of the biological complexity of the disease, we could refer to breast cancer as if it were one disease. Research now confronts us with the bewildering reality that the disease we seek to combat is a complex array of different neoplasms. Screening is optimised for the detection of specific, common molecular subtypes but not for all breast cancers.

To develop more nuanced approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer we should start by acknowledging its complexity.

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