SABCS 2018 Updates

12 December 2018 The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is the largest medical conference devoted to breast cancer. Held every year in San Antonio, TX, it attracts a large international audience and there are often practice-changing studies. While I was not able to attend the meeting in person, I’ve provided just a few of the studies that caught my attention.…

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Body Fat, BMI, and Breast Cancer

10 December 2018 Being overweight after menopause is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. But a new study suggests that our traditional measure of overweight, the body mass index (BMI) may not tell the whole story. A recent study, published in JAMA Oncology, performed detailed body composition analysis on 3000 women who were of normal BMI. They found…

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Breast Cancer Updates from ASCO 2018

14 August 2018 I was honored to participate in a Sharsheret national webinar, where breast cancer research that had been presented at the June 2018 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology was reviewed. The webinar video and transcript are linked below. Dr. Sharyn Lewin, a gynecologic oncologist, presented ovarian cancer research updates. Transcript Link Additional Sharsheret Symposia Transcripts DISCLAIMER: Dr.…

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Patient Reported Outcomes and Complication Rates from Post-Mastectomy Reconstruction

24 June 2018 Two studies have recently been published which discuss patient reported outcomes and complication rates after post-mastectomy reconstruction surgery. First a bit of background information on post-mastectomy reconstruction. The most commonly performed type of reconstruction utilizes implants. Often, a temporary tissue expander (TE) is placed by the plastic surgeon at the time of mastectomy. The TE is gradually…

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Tailoring Chemotherapy Decisions – TAILORx Study Results

4 June 2018 The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, a gathering of over 40,000 oncology specialists, was held this past weekend in Chicago. One of the studies that received a significant amount of press attention was the TAILORx study. There are several genomic tests which evaluate a tumor’s DNA to better determine how aggressive that tumor is,…

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Highlights from the 2018 American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting

10 May 2018 The American Society of Breast Surgeons held their Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL from May 2nd – 6th. As usual, it was well attended – the meeting is known for being very practical and full of information that breast surgeons can bring back to their practices to help improve patient care. I’ve picked a few topics to…

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Does Breast Cancer Surgery Cause Metastatic Disease?

15 April 2018 Press coverage of a study recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine has raised a lot of eyebrows and may be causing unnecessary worry in patients. The headline in USA Today noted “Healing process after breast cancer surgery may trigger cancer to spread, study says.” Not mentioned in the headline: the study was performed in mice.…

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Why I Post, Tweet and Blog

19 March 2018 I am often asked why I take the time to post on social media sites, and the answer is simple – it’s a way to reach patients and others who are interested in the content. As physicians, one of our primary roles is patient education, and there is a limit to how many we can reach in…

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Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing

8 March 2018 The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved an at-home test for certain DNA abnormalities known to be associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. This is the first approval for a direct-to-consumer (DTC) breast cancer genetic test. Approximately 15% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer will be found to carry a…

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Breast Cancer Treatment and Risk of Heart Disease

1 February 2018 February is heart health month! It is well known that some breast cancer treatments including certain chemotherapy agents, trastuzumab (brand name herceptin – used for Her2/neu over-expressed cancers), and radiation therapy have the potential to cause damage to the heart. Echocardiograms and other monitoring tests are often performed during and after treatment for patients receiving certain chemotherapy…

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