Simon M. Berger, 99, a radiologist and pioneering researcher in the use of X-rays to diagnose breast cancer, died Jan. 7 at his home in Wyndmoor.
Dr. Berger and his colleague, Dr. Jacob Gershon-Cohen, were the recipients of a grant in 1951 from the National Institutes of Health to study the pathology and technical requirements for breast cancer detection at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Their research resulted in a course on mammography – the use of low dosages of radiation to produce an image of the breast – that in 1955 attracted physicians from all over the country. The two men published more than 100 articles in medical journals on their research.
Dr. Berger joined the Einstein staff in 1949 and during the 1960s was chief of diagnostic radiology. Later he was chief of the radiology department at Episcopal Hospital.
He also was on the staff of Chestnut Hill Hospital and was a clinical professor of radiology at Temple University School of Medicine and at the former Hahnemann University Medical School. In 1998 he joined the staff of Germantown Hospital, an affiliate of Einstein Medical Center.
Raised in Wilmington, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and a medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University. He interned at Delaware Hospital in Wilmington, and completed a residency in radiology at Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
He was an avid tennis player, swimmer and walker.
He is survived by daughters Betsy and Carol Hershman; two sisters; two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Dr. Berger’s wife of 56 years, the former Ruth Euster, died in 1994.
Dr. Berger donated his body to science. Memorial donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030. – WF