Choosing Wisely

27 June 2016 Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. Things Providers and Patients Should Question have been chosen by various medical societies based on review of the evidence-based literature. The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) has published their contributions to the campaign (open access) in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. The 5 ASBrS measures include: 1.) Don’t…

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Importance of Treatment Follow Up

23 June 2016 Many patients realize that follow up appointments with their treating doctors is a routine part of cancer care. However, I am occasionally asked by patients why they need to continue seeing me or their oncologist after treatment has ended. A recently published study demonstrates that many patients do not understand why follow up care is important. Dr. Annette…

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What Do Patients Prefer?

21 June 2016 Originally posted on the BCSM.org website In October, we solicited input a research survey designed to identify how patients prefer to be notified of a new cancer diagnosis and cancer-related test results. The results were presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in April. The full manuscript – What Do Patients Prefer? Understanding…

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Extended Hormone Therapy for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

09 June 2016 A study presented at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting evaluated the use of extended endocrine therapy in post-menopausal women. I’ve covered some of the basics of endocrine therapy for breast cancer in a previous post. In 2012, results of the ATLAS Trial were published, and found that when tamoxifen was given for 10 years instead of the standard…

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Reflections on An Incredible Year

On April 15, 2016, I passed the gavel of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) to our new President, Dr. Sheldon Feldman. The weeks leading up to the meeting were filled with anticipation, anxiety, and a few nightmares. I had dreams that I slept through my Presidential Address, and that I forgot to prepare my slides. My nightmares stopped…

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Is Dense Breast Notification Too Dense?

26 April 2016 A growing number of states have enacted so-called “dense breast” legislation – requirements that radiology facilities inform patients if they have dense breast tissue, which may limit the sensitivity of mammography. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association evaluated the dense breast legislation for 23 states who have these requirements. They evaluated the…

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Media Reporting on Celebrity Breast Cancer

20 April 2016 I’ve written about the “celebrity effect” before –  misinformation disseminated by public features that subsequently influences patient decision making. A new study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology notes that the celebrity effect extends to media coverage as well. The authors evaluated media coverage of celebrity breast cancer stories. They found that since 2004, celebrity breast…

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Lifestyle Behaviors Among US Cancer Survivors

28 January 2016 Due to improvements in diagnosis and treatment, patients who have undergone cancer therapy are living longer than ever. The American Cancer Society estimates that there are approximately 15.5 million people living in the United States who have been treated for cancer, and that number is likely to increase. Cancer survivors not only cope with the normal effects of…

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The Final (???) Word on Screening Mammography

17 January 2016 In October 2015, the American Cancer Society (ACS) updated their screening mammography guidelines, raising a lot of questions and concerns as annual mammograms were no longer recommended for all women starting at age 40. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new guidelines on screening mammography last week. The new USPSTF guidelines recommend an individualized risk-based approach for women age…

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To Screen or Not To Screen?

14 January 2016 Does cancer screening save lives? A study published in the British Medical Journal study noted that while many studies of cancer screenings report decreased cancer-specific mortality rates, the benchmark should be overall mortality rates, and this has not been consistently demonstrated. The 15 minute podcast is worth a listen. The lead author, Dr. Vinay Prasad, is not arguing…

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