Breastlink's Blog

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


Battle for the Breasts & Hereditary Breast Cancer Testing

By |October 23, 2014|Categories: News, Screening||0 Comments

Two finalists remain in Surfline’s Battle for the Breasts, a contest pitting some of the world’s leading women surfers against one another to raise breast cancer awareness.

Breastlink has an opportunity to receive $50,000 worth of hereditary breast cancer genetic testing vouchers if its representative in the competition, Bethany Hamilton, wins in the final round of voting. Voting ends on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

Battle for the Breasts Hereditary Breast Cancer

Hereditary Breast Cancer Testing Vouchers

Breastlink is honored to be represented by Bethany Hamilton. She has proven herself to be one of the world’s best surfers with multiple […]


Understanding Advancements in Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

By |October 21, 2014|Categories: Screening|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Our understanding of breast cancer is rapidly advancing. Breast cancer is not a single disease entity, but a heterogeneous disease spectrum with numerous genetic alterations involved in its pathogenesis.

  • Some breast cancers are indolent and not life-threatening, while others are very aggressive.
  • Similarly, we find different genetic alterations in different breast cancers.
  • Some of these genetic changes are familial, or the result of genetic mutations passed from parent to child.

The BRCA genes were the first to shed light on familial breast cancer genetics. Now we are capable of screening over a dozen different genes for mutations implicated in breast cancer risk. Navigating these new complexities in genetic testing can be challenging. It will […]


Breast Cancer Genomics

By |September 26, 2014|Categories: Oncology, Surgery|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The availability of molecular information on breast cancer genomics is rapidly expanding. Patients who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer can easily be overwhelmed by volumes of information in a very short period of time. The good news is that all of the information available is meant to guide personal decisions for cancer management so that we use biology and science for real-life choices. Knowledge is power.

Breast Cancer Genomics vs. Genetic Testing

The words “genomics” and “genetic testing” are used in many different settings. For example, genetic testing can be for a variety of purposes including diagnosing illness, mapping ancestral origin, screening embryos for disease, understanding drug metabolism and medication […]


Study Reveals Lumpectomy as Safe as Mastectomy

By |September 24, 2014|Categories: Surgery|Tags: |0 Comments

A recent study revealed great news for women facing early-stage invasive breast cancer: choosing to preserve some breast tissue rather than removing the entire breast isn’t inviting more risk.

Survival Rate is Higher with Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

Actually, the survival rate for women choosing lumpectomies (also referred to as Breast-Conserving Surgery) and radiation, over mastectomies is significantly higher, according to the 2013 study.

Even when coupled with various factors – age, socioeconomic status, race, tumor grade, proportion of positive nodes and year of diagnosis – women were less likely to die with a lumpectomy.

For decades, the two surgeries were considered equivalent and […]


Mammogram Age Guidelines for Women Over 74

By |September 21, 2014|Categories: Imaging, Screening|Tags: |0 Comments

Is there a magic age after which a woman can terminate her screening mammogram?

In 2009 the United States Preventive Task Force (USPTF) controversially made a number of mammogram age guideline recommendations. These included the statement that there was insufficient evidence showcasing the benefits or harms of mammograms for older women. It also noted the need for additional randomized clinical trials to provide information comparing continued screening after the age of 75 with stopping screening (1).

A new study challenges this ideology and indicates that women over the age of 75 may no longer receive a free pass. This study supports the mammogram age guidelines of the American Cancer […]


Susan G Komen Orange County Breast Health Talk

By |September 9, 2014|Categories: Dr. Lisa Curcio, Nutrition|Tags: , |0 Comments

Susan G Komen Orange County is a non-profit organization working hard to support breast health and breast cancer awareness initiatives in our local communities. These efforts include an annual lecture series dedicated to informing women about breast health topics including prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship.

I was honored to participate in their 2013 Breast Health Education series with my lecture entitled “You Are What You Eat.” More than 200 women attended the talk – the question and answer portion was fantastic. During my 2013 talk on how diet can affect your risk of breast cancer, I shared perspectives on how dietary changes may reduce the risk of new breast […]


The Importance of Breast Cancer Research

By |September 5, 2014|Categories: News, Research|Tags: |0 Comments

First Annual CRC Charity Golf Tournament

The Importance of Breast Cancer Research: proceeds of the first Cancer Research Collaboration Charity (CRC) Golf Tournament will be used to support ongoing efforts of the CRC and its partners to fight cancer.

The Cancer Research Collaboration is currently preparing to host its first annual CRC Charity Golf Tournament in Mission Viejo. A great chance for golfers to play a round while supporting a worthy cause and for other supporters to engage during a dinner reception, the event is sure to be a hit.

However, while we wait for the fun to begin, it is important to take a moment to remember why the […]


Family History and Your Risk for Breast Cancer

By |September 2, 2014|Categories: Dr. Lisa Curcio, Screening||0 Comments

Genetics and family health history play an intricate, if not yet fully understood, role in breast cancer risk.

Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Research has shown women with a family history of breast cancer have a higher risk for diagnosis than women with no family history of breast cancer.

It is important to take the time to learn about the medical and cancer incidence history in your family. This can help you to make informed decisions about cancer screening, including mammography. Empowering yourself with history about your family’s history with cancer is a proactive strategy to plan for a long, healthy […]


What is Dense Breast Tissue?

By |August 26, 2014|Categories: Imaging, Screening|Tags: , |1 Comment

In early 2013, the state of California required medical imaging centers to inform women if they have dense breast tissue, as revealed in a screening mammogram. Since then, many of our patients have asked me what is dense breast tissue?
Orange County Breast Center | Dr. June Chen
To help women better understand breast density, I recently participated in a question and answer format for an Asian-American media outlet. Please find a summary of the exchange below. What breast imaging topics would you like me to discuss in my next blog post?

What is Dense Breast Tissue?

“Dense breasts are not uncommon. Breasts are composed of […]


Cryoablation for Benign Breast Tumor Treatment

By |August 22, 2014|Categories: Dr. Lisa Curcio, Surgery|Tags: |0 Comments

Fibroadenomas are benign breast tumors. They most frequently occur in women during their reproductive years. Although breast fibroadenomas are noncancerous, they can cause pain and affect the look, shape and feel of breasts. They usually do not affect breast cancer risk.

Conventional fibroadenoma treatment includes close monitoring for changes or growth, or surgical excision to remove breast fibroadenomas. However, a novel, FDA approved treatment called cryoablation offers many women an alternative option.

Conventional fibroadenoma treatment

Dr. Lisa Curcio | Laguna Hills, California | Breast Cancer DoctorFibroadenomas, which are solid lumps that may feel like a marble within your breast, are usually detected through physical exam. […]