|Morton started the foundation after 2 years of research.
Can breast cancer can be a preventable disease? Well according to Kevin Morton, the founder of the non-profit organization the Foundation for Breast Cancer Prevention, “absolutely.”
Morton is a former medical device inventor who is now focusing his efforts not on developing technology but on prevention.
Why is breast cancer prevention so important? Morton cited the 182,460 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, with about 40,480 deaths. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death of American women ages 35-50 in this country, he says.
“The key to preventing breast cancer is screening to find women that are at high risk of developing the disease, before they develop cancer. Once we can find these women there are several possible interventions that can stop breast cancer from forming,” says Morton, who lives in Ladera Ranch. “In women with certain risk factors, there are medications that can actually stop up to 86 percent of women from developing breast cancer in the first place.”
Morton says he has been working in the breast cancer medical area for 9 years, and has seven patents on methods and devices for breast cancer risk determination. Over time, he realized that the way to change the dynamics of breast cancer is to prevent it, not focusing on early detection.
“After 2 years of talking with breast surgeons, radiologists and pathologists about the concept, everyone agreed with me, but no one knew who should do it. That is when I decided to start the foundation and make these changes in the system working with physicians,” he says.
The difference in screening for risk in women is different than screening with mammography, Morton says. Once a mammogram finds something, the woman already has breast cancer. The goal for mammography is to find breast cancers in its earliest form.
Breast cancer risk factors are frequently overestimated or underestimated. Women that underestimate their risk often say that they don’t have any history in their family. The facts are that up to 75 percent of women that develop breast cancer don’t have family history. Women with a family history tend to overestimate their risk. There are many risk factors that are far more significant than family history, Morton says.
“The current understanding and treatment of breast cancer today is where heart disease was 20 years ago,” he adds. “At that time, a patient would wait until they had chest pains, or had a heart attack, and then would be treated. By finding risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol through screening and treating the patient before they have a heart attack, the death rate from heart disease dropped more than 40 percent.”
Morton says he would like to see the same type of results in breast cancer, after the introduction of a successful breast cancer risk screening.
“Everything we need is in place to start this type of program today, nothing new needs to be invented. Medicine is moving from ‘Diagnose and Treat’ to ‘Screen and Prevent’ but it takes a dedicated organization to implement the changes, such as the foundation,” he stresses.
“Since no one else was stepping up to something this important, I decided I would have to do it. I have 25 years of experience building organizations in the medical field, and am excited to be developing this effort.”
For more information, visit www.foundationforBCprevention.com