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Beginning Breast Cancer Screening at 50 Misses 20 Percent of Cancers

Delaying breast cancer screening until age 50 misses 20 percent of breast cancers, according to a study published by the American Journal of Roentgenology. The study examined 32,762 mammograms from women aged 40-79, as well as their prognosis and attendant risk factors. Of that group, 808 women received biopsies and 224 were diagnosed with breast cancer. Though the majority of breast cancers were found in women over 50, 18.8 percent were found in women 40-49.

Breast Cancer Controversy

This finding contradicts the breast cancer screening guidelines issued by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government panel that recommends medical practices to doctors and healthcare groups. In 2016, they […]

By |June 13, 2017|Categories: Imaging, News, Screening|0 Comments

Breast Cancer Myths. Fact or Fiction?

We continue to be surprised by the number of myths about breast cancer that women bring to our attention on a regular basis. The following are five common breast myths that can be easily dispelled:

Myth No. 1. The radiation from annual mammograms exposes women to an increased risk of getting breast cancer.

Answer: Mammograms do expose the breast to radiation, and exposure to radiation is a risk factor for getting breast cancer. It is essential that women understand that the risks of radiation exposure are both age and dose related. For example, young women who are treated with high dose radiation treatment for Hodgkin’s disease have a markedly increased risk for getting […]

By |May 5, 2017|Categories: News, Research|0 Comments

What About Breast Cancer in Men?

Although male breast cancer is rarely discussed, it is not exceedingly rare. On average, for every hundred females diagnosed with breast cancer, there will be one male diagnosed with breast cancer. Approximately 2,000 cases of male breast cancer are diagnosed yearly in the USA, compared to approximately 200,000 cases of female breast cancer diagnosed per year. The incidence of male breast cancer is increasing in the USA, probably because of increasing life expectancy.

Male breast cancer can occur over a wide range of ages, but are most common in the 60’s and 70’s, and are rare before the age of 50. Male breast cancer typically presents as lumps, but on occasion […]

By |May 5, 2017|Categories: Screening|0 Comments

What Age To Stop Mammographic Screening

One question that I commonly hear from my patients is “At what age can a woman stop having a screening mammogram?” Although there is not a simple answer to this question, there is now enough information about this subject for a woman to make an informed decision about herself or her aging relatives.

First, let’s start with the good news. Multiple well-designed scientific studies have demonstrated a 30-40 percent reduction in breast cancer mortality in women who do yearly mammograms. Things will get even better in the future as we move more towards aggressively screening high-risk women and women with dense breasts. Most of the information on the value of screening […]

By |May 5, 2017|Categories: Screening|0 Comments

Can Stress Cause Cancer?

Cancer patients are often left with feelings of extreme helplessness. This experience of hopelessness, in addition to feeling overwhelmed by social and often financial constraints, can culminate in a state of severe psychosocial stress – or simply “stress.” While stress in and of itself can significantly detract from quality of life, research has also linked stress in cancer patients with decreased survival.

What is “Stress?”

In 1936, an Austro-Hungarian scientist named Hans Selye published the first treatise on stress. Through a combination of lab work and observation, he discovered what he called a “non-specific response of the body to any demand for change,” but which he later dubbed “stress.” The stress response […]

By |April 21, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

OCMA selects four Breastlink doctors as Physicians of Excellence

Every year, the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) selects a small number of physicians for its Physicians of Excellence award. These physicians are ones who “go above and beyond in serving their profession and patients.” This year, OCMA has named four Breastlink doctors as Physicians of Excellence, a great honor: Dr. West has been at the forefront of breast cancer treatment for three decades. He founded Breastlink and pioneered the multidisciplinary approach we have used to save the lives of women across southern California. Dr. Curcio is an exemplary surgeon and a cancer survivor. She has used her unique experience as a patient to help her own patients prevent […]

By |February 19, 2017|Categories: Media, News|3 Comments

Dr. Parris Paper: Breast Cancer Screening

There is an established consensus in the breast health community that mammography is the mainstay imaging examination for screening breast cancer. However, there are varied national recommendations among stakeholders and major institutions in the topic of breast cancer screening. Lack of consensus in screening criteria includes risk stratification, age to initiate screening, and the interval of screening. The differences in practice guidelines are mainly due to variation in design and interpretation of screening trials over the past decades. As debates for and against the use of screening mammography continue to escalate, both providers and patients are often confused and wrongly perceive the recommendations as directives. The purpose of this article […]

By |October 26, 2016|Categories: Screening|0 Comments

Michelle’s Place library dedication to Dr. John West

On October 7th, Dr. John West held a signing for his new book Prevent, Survive, Thrive at Michelle’s Place in Temecula. Michelle’s Place is a cancer support center that provides support groups for cancer patients and offers financial assistance to women who need mammogram screenings. Michelle’s Place was founded by Marilyn and Bill Watson, in memory of their daughter Michelle Watson, who died of breast cancer when she was 26. Michelle died because her cancer was misdiagnosed. Dr. West dedicated his book to her. He hopes it will empower women to recognize breast cancer symptoms early, when the disease is easy to treat, and become advocates for their own health.

The […]

By |October 14, 2016|Categories: News|1 Comment

Breast Implants, Breast Cancer & Mammograms

One of the biggest questions women ask when getting breast implants is, “Will breast implants raise my risk of breast cancer?” Fortunately, the answer is no. The chance of a woman developing breast cancer because of her breast implants is negligible. Until very recently, doctors believed the odds were actually zero, which is why the FDA declared them safe and effective in 2006. However, recent studies suggest they may play a small role in a very rare type of cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Doctors haven’t found a direct link, so if you’re considering breast implants, you shouldn’t be scared. No doctor is warning women not to […]

By |October 9, 2016|Categories: Imaging|0 Comments

How Yoga Helps Breast Cancer

It’s hard to stay active when you have breast cancer. Fatigue, distress, and nausea are just a few of the reasons why cancer patients give up exercise, has been shown to reduce chronic pain, boost energy, and even help reduce some medication-associated side effects. If you’re having trouble staying active, consider yoga. It’s a gentle exercise that can accommodate people of every age and condition. Pace and intensity can be adjusted to fit your physical needs, and studies have shown that cancer patients who practice yoga benefit in multiple ways.

How Yoga Helps Breast Cancer Patients

Indian priests known as Brahmans created yoga 5,000 years ago, as a way to strengthen the […]

By |October 9, 2016|Categories: Breastlink Thrive|0 Comments
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