Breastlink blog posts about breast cancer surgery news and topics.
Most women have heard of mastectomy, which is commonly performed to treat or reduce risk for breast cancer. In the age of improved cancer treatment, improved screening tools, and emphasis on long-term survival and benefits, it is important to question exactly when and for who a double mastectomy is beneficial.
Risk-Reducing Prophylactic Mastectomy
Prophylactic mastectomy is the most commonly performed preventive surgery in women at very high risk for breast cancer. Prophylactic mastectomy involves the surgical removal of virtually all breast tissue. Some high-risk women with no previous breast cancer diagnoses may consider this option. Some women previously diagnosed with breast cancer may also consider prophylactic mastectomy in their unaffected breast to […]
The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (BCPEA), passed by Congress in December 2015, is federal legislation aimed at improving awareness of certain rights afforded to breast cancer patients. The Women’s Health Care and Cancer Rights Act, enacted in 1998, requires health plans that provide coverage for breast cancer care to include coverage for breast reconstruction. However, many patients remain unaware of this right. The goal of the BCPEA is to help spread this information to breast cancer patients.
Patients Often Uninformed About Breast Reconstruction
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 […]
The results from a recent breast biopsy study reinforce the importance pathologists play in the management of breast diseases. Oncologists can have all the greatest tools at their disposal, but without an accurate diagnosis, these tools can be rendered useless.
A new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), provides further evidence towards this inclination. The March 2015 study suggests that pathologist frequently disagree on some high-risk breast lesions.
Breast Biopsy | Is it ADH or DCIS?
To diagnose a breast lesion, tissue is sampled from a patient’s breast using a biopsy needle and sent to a laboratory for testing. A pathologist, a physician […]
Offering centralized breast cancer treatment can improve processes for breast reconstruction care. By establishing a comprehensive breast health center, one provider was able to dramatically reduce the time it took for patients to schedule breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
Composed of multidisciplinary teams of physicians dedicated solely to breast health care, comprehensive breast health centers deliver improved patient care by housing these providers in one location for the purpose of streamlining breast cancer care. One breast health center recently attempted to measure these improvements in a case study published November 2014 in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
How collaborative care can improve treatment
In this case study, outcomes for patients treated at […]
Cryoablation is a novel treatment currently used to treat benign breast tumors (called fibroadenomas). Cryoablation is now being studied in patients with certain types of small breast cancer. The treatment places a small probe in the center of the cancer and subsequently uses liquid nitrogen to destroy breast cancer tumors by freezing them.
In the treatment of fibroadenomas, cryoablation has proven less invasive and less likely to affect cosmetic appearance than surgery. It could be possible for breast cancer patients to enjoy the same benefits in the future.
How does cryoablation work?
The American Society of Breast Surgeons calls cryoablation of fibroadenoma ‘safe, efficacious and durable.’ Currently, the American Society of Breast […]
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
Fibroadenomas, which are solid lumps that may feel like a marble within your breast, are usually detected through physical exam. Following […]
Two recent reports indicate that more women are electing to have breast reconstruction after their treatment for breast cancer has completed. This mirrors our observations at Breastlink, where more than 90% of our breast cancer patients undergo a breast reconstructive procedure. What are the factors contributing to this increase?
Breast Reconstruction Surgery Increasing
A January 2013 study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery compared the rate of an immediate breast reconstruction surgery from 1998 to 2008. The analysis tracked 178,600 mastectomy cases in the period, which provide a large sample size to identify any trends. The study reported the rate that women selected immediate reconstruction after mastectomy increased from 21% […]