Twitter Social Media an Effective Tool for Breast Cancer Education and Support

30 July 2015 A study published today in the Journal of Medical Internet Research demonstrated that breast cancer patients participating in an online support community based on twitter had increased knowledge and decreased anxiety regarding their condition. The Breast Cancer Social Media (#BCSM) community was founded in 2011 by two breast cancer survivors. Weekly tweet chats are held on various topics…

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Do I Need a Mammogram? (Part II)

20 July 2015 This is not a new question, and I promise there will be many parts to this story. The latest: Breast Cancer Screening, Incidence and Mortality Across US Counties, published in the July 2015 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors of the study noted that rates of early breast cancer detection have increased with the widespread use…

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Do I Need Surgery for DCIS?

9 June 2015 Surgery doesn’t help women with early-stage breast cancer. That’s certainly a headline that will get attention! The recent NPR article referred to a study published in JAMA Surgery: Survival Benefit of Breast Surgery for Low Risk Ductal Carcinoma In Situ – A Population-Based Cohort Study(1). The study raises some very interesting points, but the NPR headline is misleading.…

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JNCI Report on the Status of Breast Cancer 1975-2011

30 March 2015 Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2011, Featuring Incidence of Breast Cancer Subtypes by Race/Ethnicity, Poverty and State Today, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) released a report reviewing cancer data, specifically breast cancer, from 1975-2011. For the first time, data regarding breast cancer subtypes was included in the report, and incidence…

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Breast Cancer – Knowledge About Disease

28 January 2015 A study published in the journal Cancer found that many women lack basic knowledge about their breast cancer. Researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston surveyed 500 women treated between 2010-2011 for Stage 0 – III breast cancer in Northern California. Women were asked about 4 tumor characteristics – estrogen receptor (ER) status, Her2/neu status, tumor…

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Increasing Mastectomy Rates – Science vs. Personal Choice

19 January 2015 This past weekend, I gave a talk at the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting – the title of the talk was Increasing Mastectomy Rates – Science vs. Personal Choice. There is a tremendous amount of literature documenting the increasing mastectomy rates. The talk focused on women with early stage breast cancer…

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Male Breast Cancer: Facts and a Personal Perspective

23 November 2014 Guest Post by Dr. Oliver Bogler When thinking about a post on male breast cancer, one person came to mind –  Dr. Oliver Bogler. As a cancer researcher, Dr. Bogler has a very unique perspective on his diagnosis, treatment, and the larger problem of research disparities when it comes to male breast cancer.  My personal encounter with breast…

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Tamoxifen Gel Shows Promise

15 July 2014 A study published today in Clinical Cancer Research demonstrates that tamoxifen applied to the skin in a gel form was as effective as oral tamoxifen in decreasing breast cancer cell growth and was associated with fewer side effects in patients with ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS). Dr. Seema Kahn and colleagues randomized 27 women diagnosed with DCIS to receive either…

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(Reasonable) Fear Prompts “Extra” Mastectomy Decision

3 June 2014 A study was recently published evaluating the reasons why women diagnosed with breast cancer might undergo a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. First, some definitions: –       Mastectomy – removal of the entire breast –       Prophylactic mastectomy – removal of a breast that does not have cancer –       Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) – removal of the breast that does NOT have cancer, in a patient undergoing mastectomy…

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Do I Need a Mammogram?

17 February 2014 Spoiler alert – this will hardly be the last word on the screening mammography debate… Last week, the British Medical Journal published a Canadian Study which concluded that mammograms are not effective in reducing breast cancer deaths. The study involved 90,000 women. However, there are some major flaws in the study, and “rapid response” letters to the…

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