Breast Cancer RibbonOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Accordingly, we have gathered together our most recent posts on breast cancer. Members of WVFC’s Medical Advisory board—physicians who are specialists in their fields—write all of these articles. They highlight the latest research on the full range of patient concerns: anesthesia, alcohol and breast cancer, breast density, breast reconstruction, hormone therapy, implants, oncoplasty, radiation, screening, and surgery.


Ask Dr. Pat: The Brand-New News About Hormone Therapy
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., October 21, 2013
Investigators from the Women’s Health Initiative Hormone Trials are reaffirming conclusions that hormone therapy is not recommended for the prevention of chronic disease, but may remain a reasonable option for the short-term management of menopausal symptoms for younger women.

Dr. Ford on Emotional Health: Double Mastectomy and the Shame Factor
By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D., May 30, 2013
“Most women feel as you do when faced with the loss of a body part that is tied so inextricably to your sense of yourself as a woman,” Dr. Ford writes to Katie, who carries the BRCA1 gene. “Your mother clearly never recovered her sense of herself as a beautiful, sexual woman after her surgery.”

The Dense-Breast Controversy: A Woman’s Right to be Educated
By Thomas Kolb, M.D., October 29, 2012
When describing a mammogram result to a patient as “normal,” the radiologist may be only 40 percent accurate in his or her diagnosis. Yet the patient is never informed of her mammogram’s degree of accuracy, nor have patients been educated that breast density in itself is a significant risk factor for developing breast cancer.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer: The Quest for a “Single Bullet”
By Elisa Rush Port, M.D., October 15, 2012
Since the 1970s and ’80s we have seen significant progress toward the goal in cancer treatment—development of a sniper’s rifle with a laser scope and a single bullet that zeroes in precisely on the enemy cells.

On Mammograms and Their Value: A Breast Surgeon Weighs In
By Elisa Rush Port, M.D., September 10, 2012
When it comes to recommending yearly mammograms and affirming that mammograms save lives, let’s stop getting hung up on technicalities. Let’s stop re-crunching the numbers until they give us a different answer, and accept what the data demonstrates: From age 40—not age 50—yearly mammograms save lives.

News Alert: Dr. Thomas Kolb on Breast Density Imaging
By Thomas Kolb, M.D., May 16, 2012
Knowing your breast density is of vital importance, for the higher the density of the breast, the lower the accuracy of the mammogram. Adding a screening ultrasound for women with dense breasts can detect invasive cancer that the mammogram has missed.

Menopause, Ten Years Later: A Milestone Study Reconsidered
By Wulf H. Utian, M.D., Ph.D. July 23, 2012
Dr. Wulf H. Utian, founding executive director of the North American Menopause Society, takes another look at the momentous decision, a decade ago, to halt one part of a Women’s Health Initiative study involving estrogen and progestin, discussing what that decision has meant for our generation of women.

Ask Dr. Pat: About That French Breast-Implant Scandal…
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., February 7, 2012
What’s going on? How can find out if I am at risk? If I am, can I get someone to pay for the removal of my implants?

In the News: Breast Cancer and Booze
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., November 4, 2011
This week brought more information for women to consider as they choose whether to alter their lives to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Update: Anesthetic Options for Surgery
By Eleni Tousimis, M.D., October 25, 2011
Breast surgery is already anxiety-provoking and psychologically traumatic. Why not help decrease the physical pain associated with these procedures?

Breast Cancer Update: Important Findings on Radiation Treatment
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., October 25, 2011
A report like this, based on an analysis of many studies involving thousands of women treated in many countries, provides a significant answer to an important question: Is radiation useful or harmful in the treatment of women with breast cancer?

Breast Cancer Surgery: The Good News
By Eleni Tousimis, M.D., October 17, 2011
This, 2011, has been an exciting year for breast cancer patients and their treating physicians. Now, the trend in breast cancer surgery is toward less invasive surgery with improved reconstructive options.

A Rare Breast Cancer Remembered
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., October 10, 2011
I was a 27-year-old surgical intern at New York Hospital in 1976 when I took care of my first patient who died from breast cancer. Mrs. M. was a 40-year-old woman with two young children and a loving husband. About eight weeks before I began treating her, she had noticed that her left breast had become swollen, red, and somewhat tender. Her skin felt firm and the texture was like the skin of an orange.

Prophylactic Mastectomy: Why Remove a Healthy Breast?
By Eleni Tousimis, M.D., October 4, 2011
New research out of Wake Forest Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, revealed an interesting trend: Women diagnosed with breast cancer were choosing to have not only the affected breast removed, but also the normal, healthy one—even when they did not carry the gene for developing breast cancer.

Special Report From NAMS: The Impact of High-Tech Imaging on Surgical Choices
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., September 22, 2011
High-tech imaging techniques such as ultrasound, CT, and MRI allow physicians to see structures more clearly and precisely. This information may have an impact on treatment protocols for conditions such as ovarian cysts, endometrial thickening, and small tumor deposits in the breast that often are not detected by mammography or palpation.

Mammograms: Why Women Should Be Screened
By Thomas Kolb, M.D., July 18, 2011
Who should get mammograms, and how frequently? WVFC expert Dr. Thomas Kolb summarizes the recent findings and explains what’s most important.

Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer: The New York Times Ends the Week With More Bad News
By Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., January 31, 2011
The Million Women Study is a British observational study that began in May 1996 and ended in December 2001. Women were 50-64 at the time the study began, and their numbers included one in four of all women in this age group in Great Britain at the time.

Oncoplastic Surgery: When Is It the Right Choice?
By Eleni Tousimis, M.D., January 20, 2011
Lately, there’s been a new buzzword surrounding the surgical treatment of breast cancer: oncoplastic surgery. A report from a recent meeting of top surgeons about options for reconstruction.



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  • Minakshi March 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Very educating website