Breastlink's Blog

A breast cancer blog with news, opinion, research and practice updates.

Addressing Some Questions About Breast Cancer

By |October 5, 2015|Categories: Dr. Lisa Curcio, Nutrition, Oncology||0 Comments

One of the things I love most about my job is the opportunity afforded to me to be involved in educating patients. Every year, Susan G. Komen® Orange County hosts a series of educational lectures to help patients better understand breast cancer. Events such as these offer me an opportunity to reach out to many at once. This year, I was honored to speak as part of this series to help answer some questions about breast cancer. For those who were unable to attend, some of the topics discussed are addressed below. […]

What is Lymphedema?

By |September 28, 2015|Categories: Breast Conditions||0 Comments

Lymphedema refers to abnormal and persistent swelling and can occur in the arms or legs. Lymphedema occurs when the flow of lymph fluid is obstructed. This condition is usually isolated to a single arm or leg, although it can present itself on multiple limbs. […]

Introducing Dr. Jonathan Zelken

By |September 21, 2015|Categories: Surgery||0 Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself. I am Dr. Jonathan Zelken. I am a Johns Hopkins-trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon with additional training in Microsurgery. It is such a thrill and honor that I was recently selected to join the world-class Breastlink team. Even though I spent most of my life on the East Coast, there is no place I’d rather work.

The decision to join Breastlink was very easy. As some of you already know, the team is fun, smart, motivated and committed to offering the best cancer care in the world. I took a close look at the way all the staff cared about the patients […]

Early Detection of Breast Cancer

By |September 14, 2015|Categories: Screening||0 Comments

Early detection of breast cancer offers women the best possible chance for optimal treatment. As with many cancers, breast cancer is more easily managed and treated when it is still small. To ensure early detection of breast cancer, women should educate themselves about appropriate screening and breast health care.

Why is Early Detection of Breast Cancer Important?

When breast cancer is diagnosed before it has spread or grown too large, it is more likely to be treated successfully. Five-year relative survival rates in women diagnosed with early stage breast cancers rise above 90 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

However, this number drops to 22 percent in women diagnosed with late […]

What is Lobular Breast Cancer?

By |September 7, 2015|Categories: Surgery||0 Comments

When patients are diagnosed with breast cancer or other breast conditions, they may not always understand the terms used. There are several different kinds of breast cancer in addition to various other health conditions affecting the breasts. To better understand their breast health and to inform health care decisions, women should familiarize themselves with the anatomy of the breast and some breast-related health care terms.

Anatomy of the Breast

The female breast is mostly composed of adipose tissue, a type of connective tissue made up of fat cells. A network of lobes, lobules and ducts run through each breast. There are normally between 12 and 20 lobes within each breast and […]

Breast Cancer Detection

By |August 31, 2015|Categories: Imaging, Screening||0 Comments

Learning about breast cancer detection can potentially save your life. Early detection of breast cancer provides the best chance for optimal treatment outcomes. For the last several decades, breast cancer awareness initiatives have helped to reduce deaths from breast cancer. To ensure breast cancer patients receive appropriate care, educational efforts on breast cancer detection continue to remain relevant.

Breast Self-Examination

Breast self-examination can enable breast cancer detection. Breast self-exam is ideally performed after each menstrual cycle when the breast tissue is least likely to be swollen.

To perform breast self-examination, look at your breasts in the mirror. Check that they are their normal size, shape and color. Look for signs of breast […]

ASCO 2015 Update: Releasing the Potential of the Immune System

By |August 24, 2015|Categories: Oncology, Research||0 Comments

The Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) provides an opportunity for thousands of oncologists and healthcare professionals to receive research updates and exchange ideas surrounding trends in cancer treatments. More than 30,000 attend each year, making it one of the largest educational and scientific conferences dedicated to advancing cancer care. I recently joined my colleagues for the ASCO 2015 Annual Meeting, where a focus was on breakthroughs in immunotherapy.

What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy refers to treatments that prompt the human body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. Cancer occurs when a genetic mutations occurs that causes a healthy cell to become cancerous. Can the immune system recognize […]

Breast Cancer and Genetics

By |August 17, 2015|Categories: Screening, Surgery||0 Comments

In true Hollywood fashion, when a celebrity speaks the masses listen.

That’s precisely what happened when Angelina Jolie penned an editorial in The New York Times that shined the spotlight on breast cancer and genetics, specifically genes that can cause the disease.

Quickly dubbed the “Angelina Jolie Effect,” the number of women requesting a blood test to reveal if they’re carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has nearly doubled since the editorial’s 2013 publication, according to various studies including one by the online journal Breast Cancer Research.

Although inherited factors account for less than 5 percent of breast cancer cases, individuals who carry the […]

Early Signs of Breast Cancer

By |August 10, 2015|Categories: Imaging, Screening||0 Comments

Identifying the early signs of breast cancer can significantly increase your chances of recovery and cure from this disease. Though many breast cancers are detectable only through a mammogram or other imaging studies, a significant number of early diagnoses have come as the result of patients recognizing one or more common breast cancer signs. […]

BRCA Testing: What Patients Should Know

By |August 3, 2015|Categories: Screening||0 Comments

In recent years, many advancements have been made in our knowledge of the relationship between genetics and breast cancer. Tests are now available to help identify numerous genetic mutations that increase your risk for breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes that have been linked to increased risk for breast cancer. BRCA testing could potentially help you to make informed decisions regarding your breast health. […]