Breastlink's Blog

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


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. […]


Male Breast Cancer Symptoms

By |July 27, 2015|Categories: Screening||0 Comments

Breast cancer is widely considered a woman’s disease, but men are also at risk. Around 1 in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Although their risk for breast cancer is low, knowledge of male breast cancer symptoms can help men to recognize this potentially deadly disease.

What are the Signs of Male Breast Cancer?

Male breast cancer symptoms can be very similar to those found in women. The most prominent symptom is a lump in the breast. If you notice changes to your breast tissue, you should be evaluated by a physician with experience in treating breast diseases.

While most women are aware that a lump […]


The Breast Cancer Index & Predicting Risk of Recurrence

By |July 20, 2015|Categories: Oncology||3 Comments

Numerous advancements in breast cancer therapies and interventions have helped to improve outcomes and quality-of-life for countless women. Over the past seven years, growing understanding of breast cancer biology has helped to continue this trend. The introduction of genomic testing tools, such as the Breast Cancer Index, now allow us to predict long-term prognoses for breast cancer patients better than ever before.

Breast Cancer Index | Orange County, CaliforniaThe Breast Cancer Index (BCI) is a test that analyzes a breast cancer patient’s genes. In women with estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancer, BCI predicts risk of recurrence beyond five years and predicts how likely […]


Surgery for All Thyroid Nodules? An Approach Based on Molecular Profiling

By |July 13, 2015|Categories: Surgery||2 Comments

Many people — in fact, most people, — have thyroid nodules. Most nodules are benign or non-cancerous. Figuring out which nodules are cancerous can be challenging. Fortunately, there are molecular tests available that can help to sort out these challenges.

Years ago, my colleagues and I worked on research in this field and identified a molecular profile that can predict which thyroid nodules have malignant, or cancerous, potential. Now, commercial labs even make use of molecular profiling to help guide patients and physicians when deciding on surgery.

Background

A thyroid nodule is a growth of cells that form a mass in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland, located in the front of […]


Breastlink Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation in Breast Cancer Care

By |June 29, 2015|Categories: News, Oncology|Tags: , |1 Comment

This year marks 20 years Breastlink has helped patients with their breast health needs. As I reflect back upon our history I have never felt more strongly that our comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treat breast cancer best serves women.

I also believe, thanks to clinical research, we are on the cusp of discovering a real cure for many types of breast cancer in the next decade. Research has begun to reveal the genomic differences in cancer cells. This will lead to new, “targeted” agents that will significantly improve treatment options. Breastlink, through our work with the Cancer Research Collaboration, is involved in many of the promising clinical trials.

However, […]


Dr. John Link Answers Breast Cancer Questions

By |June 15, 2015|Categories: News||1 Comment

Breastlink Medical Director of Oncology John Link, M.D., recently received a letter from a student asking about oncology and breast cancer. Unfortunately, this junior high school student had recently lost a relative to breast cancer. This experience inspired her to make breast cancer the topic of a yearlong, school research project. Dr. Link was pleased to answer some of her questions. Read his response below.

I am happy to answer your breast cancer questions to help with your research project. It sounds like a good project to work on. It made me sad to hear about your loved one having died of breast cancer.

”Breast


Breast Cancer Incidences Expected to Grow

By |May 21, 2015|Categories: News||0 Comments

Over the next several decades, the incidence of breast cancer is expected to rise. We will also witness shifting patterns regarding the types of breast cancer diagnosed and ages of women diagnosed. As these changes occur, it is critical for breast cancer treatment teams to consider each case individually.

It is necessary for physicians to consider each patient’s disease on a case-by-case basis. Every breast cancer and every woman diagnosed with breast cancer is different. It is critical that women receive care tailored to their individual needs. A multidisciplinary team of breast cancer specialists will consider all possible options according to cancer subtype and personal goals to ensure women receive […]