BRCA Gene Testing and Prophylactic Mastectomy

14 May 2013 BRCA gene testing and prophylactic mastectomy were thrust into the spotlight when Angelina Jolie announced in May 2013 that she tested positive for a BRCA mutation and underwent preventative surgery. The interview below discusses who should be tested, and some of the issues to consider regarding prophylactic surgery.

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Endocrine Therapy For Breast Cancer

11 May 2013 In May 2013, I was invited to give a talk with my colleague Dr. Carol Connor at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.  Our topic was “Endocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer”, and we discussed the literature supporting the use of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, as well as adverse effects and treatment of…

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No Easy Choices on Breast Reconstruction

10 May 2013 Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy has prompted a lot of interest in the options available for immediate reconstruction. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding the extent of surgery, the recovery time needed, and the potential for complications. The following article appeared in the New York Times on 05/10/2013 and discusses the complicated issue…

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Breast Cancer in Young Women

1 March 2013 A study published in JAMA found that there is an increase in the incidence of young women (age 25-39) diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer has already spread outside of the breast, most commonly to the lungs, liver, bone, and brain. Metastatic breast cancer is not curable, although newer treatments have improved…

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Surgery and Survival Rates – FOX 11 Interview

30 January 2013 A recent study in the journal Cancer compared patients with early stage breast cancer who underwent lumpectomy with radiation to patients who underwent mastectomy, and found that the patients who underwent lumpectomy had a better overall survival. It is important to realize that this is an “observational study”, meaning the researchers went back to older data and…

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Soy and Breast Cancer

15 January 2013 Much has been written regarding the role of soy and breast cancer, but much confusion remains. While research in this area is active, here is what we know: Soy is an isoflavone, a class of chemical that has weak estrogen-like activity.  We know that women in Asian countries, following a traditional diet, have a lower incidence of…

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On Cancer Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Cure

8 November 2012 I had the honor to collaborate on this ASCO Connection post with Dr. Don S. Dizon, a medical oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital specializing in women’s cancers.  This post grew out of twitter and email conversations  – we were discussing cancer prevention, risk reduction, and cure – and how our conversations and thoughts have changed due in…

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