(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…

Read more

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…

Read more

Profiles in Oncology Social Media: @DrAttai

27 December 2013 I was recently featured in the December 2013  issue of Oncology Times, in the Profiles in Social Media section. I was interviewed by Lola Butcher, and in case you are not able to access the article, I have re-posted it here. This explains how I became involved in social media and how this involvement has impacted both…

Read more

Breast Cancer – The Celebrity Effect

12 November 2013 Over the past year, breast cancer and mastectomy has been in the spotlight due to attention from celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Amy Robach. There is no question that when public figures share their stories, awareness is raised. The unfortunate part is that important facts are usually omitted from the conversation, and misinformation is spread. While…

Read more

Clinical Trials

11 November 2013 One of the first things that might be discussed when you are looking at your cancer treatment options is whether or not there are clinical trials that you might qualify for. While many still view clinical trial participation as being a “guinea pig” in an experiment, it is important to understand that the clinical trial process is…

Read more

Women Have New Options for Breast Cancer Surgery

24 October 2013 Many advances have been made in the area of breast cancer surgery. Up until the 1970’s, the only option available was a radical mastectomy, which involved removal of the entire breast, the pectorals muscle over the ribs, and a large number of lymph nodes. Subsequent studies have proven that more surgery is not necessarily better, and a…

Read more

Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, BRCA Testing, PinkWashing, and More!

16 October 2013 This is one of my most comprehensive interviews to date. It aired on Santa Clarita Valley TV and I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics, including breast self-exams, male breast cancer, genetic testing for breast cancer, “pink washing” and more! Many thanks to SCVTV as well as Tami Edwards and Dave Caldwell, for spending…

Read more

Creating Patient-Physician Synergy with Social Media

29 September 2013 I had the very unique opportunity to participate in a panel discussion at Stanford’s MedicineX conference, which is organized by Dr. Larry Chu. “MedicineX is a catalyst for new ideas about the future of medicine and health care. The initiative explores how emerging technologies will advance the practice of medicine, improve health, and empower patients to be active participants in…

Read more

Misconceptions and Fears Prompt Contralateral Mastectomies

16 September 2013 The following article appeared in Medscape and covered a recent study suggesting that many women base their decision to undergo a mastectomy on fear. I was happy to contribute my thoughts to what is a very complex issue and a very difficult decision for so many women. ~DJA Fran Lowry Sep 16, 2013 Women with breast cancer, especially younger…

Read more

Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment

3 August 2013 What’s in a name? In the case of cancer, there are myths, fears, and misinformation – more than perhaps any other illness. Cancer encompasses hundreds of different diseases and each one is complex. Even women diagnosed with exactly the same “type” of breast cancer and who undergo the same treatment can have very different outcomes. Not all…

Read more
Pages