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Breastlink is committed to working with research partners to help improve our ability to detect and treat breast cancer. Breast cancer research news from our practices

Breast Cancer Myths. Fact or Fiction?

Modern technology has made it easy for women to find information about breast cancer. Unfortunately, it has also made it easier for them to be misled. Myths are often circulated and popularized online, distorting women’s understanding of breast cancer. Here are 10 common breast cancer myths and the truth about them.

Myth No.1: Deodorant Causes Breast Cancer

This myth is based on flawed studies about two common ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants: aluminum and parabens. Aluminum is used to block sweat glands and by doing so, some people worried it could prevent the release of toxins and potentially damagebreast tissue and estrogen receptors around the armpits. However, the body does not expel […]

Myth: Mammograms are equally effective for all women

Myth: Mammograms are equally effective for all women.

Fact: Up to 50% of small cancers may not be visible on the screening mammogram.

Although the screening mammogram has been highly effective in terms of early detection of breast cancer, it is not without its limitations. A recently published study in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) demonstrated that screening mammography has a 47 percent cancer false negative rate in women with dense breasts. This means that up to 47% of cancers may not be seen on the mammogram. Other recent studies demonstrated that women with dense breast tissue have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, which some […]

Myth: Breast Self Exam Doesn’t Work

Myth: Breast Self Exam Doesn’t Work

Reality: Breast Self Exams Can Be Lifesaving!

Until recently, all women were encouraged to do monthly breast self-exams (BSE) starting at age 21. However, new guidelines from the Komen Foundation and the American Cancer society state that women do not need to do self-exam, but should be “self-aware” and report any change to their doctor. Just how a woman becomes “self-aware” without some form of training is not explained.

These new recommendations have created a great deal of confusion. Women are asking, “Why the change in guidelines”? After all, the reality is that women who do BSE with confidence are capable of detecting small and potentially […]

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 […]

Research Points to Benefits of 3D Mammography

Digital tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, has emerged as an effective breast imaging tool. 3D mammography combines conventional 2-dimensional mammogram images with additional 3-dimensional views. This enables enhanced views of breast tissue and research suggests 3D mammography offers several benefits over conventional 2D mammography.

Improved Cancer Detection Rate & Reduced Recall Rate

Numerous studies have shown the benefit of 3D mammography over conventional 2D mammography.  Both prospective and retrospective trials have shown a significant increase in cancer detection and a decrease in recall rate with 3D mammography.

One prospective randomized trial, published April 2013 in Radiology by Skaane et al.[1] compared 3D and 2D mammography in more than 12,000 patients. Researchers […]

Takeaways from the 2016 ASCO Cancer Survivorship Symposium

On January 15, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists hosted the inaugural Survivorship Symposium in San Francisco. More than 800 doctors from numerous disciplines, researchers, patients and patient advocates gathered for the event focused on advancing cancer survivorship care issues. I recently wrote a joint article for Breast Cancer Social Media Community about the 2016 ASCO Survivorship Symposium with Stacey Tinianov, a breast cancer survivor and patient advocate.

Personalized Care for Cancer Survivors

One theme at the 2016 ASCO Survivorship Symposium was “One Size Fits No One.” There are more than 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and their needs vary. Several presentations revolved around the need for a […]

Developments in Multi-Gene Panel Tests for Breast Cancer

Numerous genetic mutations are linked to increased risk for breast cancer. Genetic testing can identify these mutations and guide patient management decisions. Over the past decade, multi-gene panel tests have gained traction in clinical settings. These evaluate up to 43 breast cancer-related genes, compared with limited BRCA 1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) tests. In a recent review for World Journal of Surgical Procedures, I discussed whether multi-gene panel testing should replace limited BRCA1/2 testing.

Background to Genetic Testing

Since the mid-1990s, we have known about the link between BRCA1/2 and risk for breast cancer, which account for 30 to 50 percent of breast cancers. There are now well-established clinical guidelines for the […]

The Impact of Multi-Gene Panel Testing for Cancer Survivors

Multi-gene panel testing has recently emerged as a safe and effective way to identify genetic mutations known to increase risk for breast cancer. Compared with earlier genetic tests, which required initial testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 followed by subsequent testing for other cancer-related genes, multi-gene panel testing can evaluate up to 43 genes. At Breastlink, we recently conducted a study to see how multi-gene panel testing affected treatment and screening decisions in cancer survivors who had previously tested negative for BRCA1/2.

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How Does Management Change for Cancer Survivors with Positive Results?

For our study, we retrospectively collected data from 914 Breastlink patients who […]

Breastlink Research at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Every year, the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) hosts one of the most important breast cancer conferences in the world. Experts across various specialties gather to share updates in cutting-edge breast cancer treatments and interventions. At the 2015 SABCS, Breastlink joined the discussion to share research we’ve been working on with patients in Orange County.

I had the opportunity to present a research poster and host a discussion on the results of a Breastlink study that I led: “Multi-gene panel testing and the cancers identified in patients at risk for hereditary breast cancer.” Dr. John Link presented a research poster based on another study we conducted: “The Breast Cancer Index […]

The 2015 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium in Review

Every year, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists hosts a Breast Cancer Symposium to promote discussion about developments in breast cancer care and treatment. This event is an exceptional opportunity to learn about current trends and future directions that affect our patients and our daily practice. I was excited to attend the 2015 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium and appreciate the thought-provoking dialogue that occurred.  In addition, I was also invited to present our own data on multi-gene panel testing.

Several topics of interest included the development of a new model for evaluating breast cancer risk in women with atypical hyperplasia, new data on recurrence in women with ductal carcinoma in situ […]

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