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Breast cancer screening linked to lower stage at diagnosis, less intensive treatment

Patients who underwent breast cancer screening appeared to be diagnosed at an earlier stage and underwent less extensive medical and surgical treatment, according to a study presented at The American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting. This association persisted among patients aged 40 to 49 years, for whom controversy exists on the necessity of screening.

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  • Avoiding Unnecessary Surgery and Radiation in Low-Risk DCIS

    The routine use of screening mammography has drastically increased the identification of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) over the past 3 decades. However, results from current research suggest that many cases of DCIS have a low risk for progression and thus may not require surgical excision and radiation therapy. Although early detection of DCIS enables patients to receive treatment before the cancer becomes invasive, Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MPH, MA, MBA, pointed out that some patients are treated for low-grade precancerous lesions that probably would not develop into invasive cancers or affect longevity. “If they had never known about those lesions, they could have just as well lived their life,” said Chagpar, associate professor in the Department of Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine and the assistant director for global oncology at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Now they are undergoing all kinds of treatments for these lesions, and is that really necessary?”

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  • An Inspiring Experience at Cancer Control in Primary Care Course in Bhutan

    ’ll admit it. When I was first asked if I would chair the Cancer Control for Primary Care (CCPC) Course in Bhutan, I immediately exclaimed YES!!!... and then sheepishly went to look up where exactly Bhutan was on a map. For the uninitiated, Bhutan is a country nestled between India and Tibet in the Eastern Himalaya Mountains. I had heard of the Buddhist kingdom, of course, and its “Gross National Happiness Index,” and even with the little I knew of it, the country was alluring enough… but then to be given the opportunity to help educate primary care providers in reducing cancer burden in their own surroundings? I was all in! I had been on other trips abroad with ASCO, including being part of the Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Course (MCMC) in Zimbabwe, and knew the tireless work of the ASCO staff that would go into making this trip unbelievably successful.

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  • Many Women Misjudge How They'll Feel After Mastectomy

    Women who have one or both breasts removed to treat cancer may have unrealistic expectations about how they’ll feel after that surgery and after breast reconstruction, if they choose that option, a U.S. study suggests. For the study, researchers surveyed 96 women with breast cancer before they had a mastectomy and again one year later. The study included 42 women who had breast reconstruction surgery right after the mastectomy. Overall, patients who had a mastectomy without reconstruction significantly underestimated how satisfied they would be with their breasts and their quality of life afterwards, researchers report in JAMA Surgery.

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  • Radio show provides cancer coverage

    “Yale Cancer Answers,” a weekly radio show created and hosted by members of the Yale Cancer Center, aired an interview on Sunday night with School of Medicine Professor and Yale New Haven Hospital oncologist Stacey Stein, who discussed treatment options for gastric cancers. The episode was the latest in a 12-year series about cancer and cancer-related topics that airs every Sunday evening on WNPR stations at 7:30 p.m. WNPR estimates that between 7,500 and 10,000 people tune in each week to hear “Cancer Answers” live.

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  • Yale’s advance in breast cancer surgery to be tested in nationwide study

    Removing a small amount of extra tissue around a breast cancer tumor may keep a patient from having a recurrence of the cancer or of having to return to the operating table because not all of the malignant cells were removed in the first operation. That’s the theory that’s being tested in a nationwide clinical trial sponsored by the Yale Cancer Center called SHAVE2. Dr. Anees Chagpar, assistant director of global oncology at the Yale School of Medicine and former director of the Breast Center, is the principal investigator. Chagpar oversaw the first SHAVE trial at Yale, which involved 235 patients with stage 0 to stage 3 breast cancer who were given a partial mastectomy, also known as a lumpectomy. Some were given normal lumpectomies, while others had more tissue removed from around the tumor site, known as cavity shave margins.

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  • Breast reconstruction after cancer less common at cash-strapped hospitals

    Women with breast cancer who have one or both breasts removed are less likely to get immediate reconstruction surgery at hospitals that are struggling financially, a U.S. study suggests. Even so, the results underscore the importance of women seeing a plastic surgeon to make an informed decision about breast reconstruction, said Dr. Brigid Killelea, co-author of an accompanying editorial and chief of breast surgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “I think it is important for patients to understand that getting a referral to a plastic surgeon to discuss reconstruction after mastectomy is standard and in most cases, encouraged; it’s not something extra or unnecessary,” Killelea said by email. Patients shouldn’t feel limited in their treatment options by hospital finances,” Killelea added.

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  • 16 Things Experts Wish You Knew About Breast Cancer and Screening

    Breast cancer affects one in eight women who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends—and causes a lot of worry for women in general. “Women who have a family history of breast cancer in particular have a lot of anxiety,” says Yale Medicine's Brigid Killelea, MD, chief of breast surgery.

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