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surgical breast oncologist

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Do Specialists Make a Difference in Breast Cancer Surgery?

Breastlink doctors specialize specifically in breast cancer care and treatment. While we can talk about the benefits of specialization, is there actually evidence to suggest that specialists can improve outcomes for breast cancer patients?

To answer that question, it is worth revisiting a 2003 study that investigated how patients fared following breast cancer surgery when treated by a breast-dedicated surgical oncologist.

What Makes a Breast-Dedicated Surgical Oncologist?

Surgical oncology is not a boarded subspecialty. This means it can be difficult to determine whether a surgeon is a specialist in breast cancer surgery. One indicator is whether they belong to a professional medical association committed to advancing surgical oncology or breast cancer surgery.

Professional medical […]

SABCS 2014: Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy Preview

Every year, some of the world’s leading experts on breast cancer gather for the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). One of the premier forums on the subject, SABCS offers physicians and allied health professionals an environment conducive to the exchange of ideas and discussion around current trends in breast cancer research.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet with others passionate about breast health care, as well as to learn about new ways we can help patients. At this year’s SABCS, I am excited to learn more about the results of a trial investigating the use of radiation therapy, new markers for identifying cancer in the blood, advances in genetic […]

Advanced, HER2 Negative Breast Cancer Treatment

Different breast cancers behave in different ways, which necessitates separate treatment guidelines to address the individual characteristics of specific types of cancer. As knowledge evolves, treatment guidelines are updated to reflect up-to-date information about breast cancer. Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published guidelines on the use of chemotherapy and targeted therapy in the treatment of patients with advanced, HER2 negative breast cancer.

What is HER2 Negative Breast Cancer?

HER2, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, is a protein that the human body develops to help regulate reproduction of the cells. Sometimes the gene responsible for developing this protein will over-replicate itself, which can result in overproduction of HER2. […]

Understanding Advancements in Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

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 […]

Study Reveals Lumpectomy as Safe as Mastectomy

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 […]

New Breast Cancer Treatment: Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT)

Part of my commitment to deliver the highest quality and most advanced care to patients is to explore cutting-edge breast cancer techniques and treatments. I’m excited to share with the Breastlink community that we completed our first intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) procedure, using the XOFT Axxent® eBx System.

IORT is a relatively new approach to deliver radiotherapy in conjunction with a lumpectomy. During the surgical procedure, and after the identified breast cancer has been removed, an individualized dose of radiation therapy is specifically targeted to the immediate area around where the cancer was located.

Breast IORT | Dr. Amy Bremner | Breastlink Image courtesy of Xoft.

This […]

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