News

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Five things everyone should know about breast cancer

    In 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates more than 250,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, with more than 40,000 deaths. But progress in treatment and early detection has led to improved survival rates, with more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today. With October marking National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Anees Chagpar, M.D., M.P.H., a breast cancer expert and assistant director for Global Oncology at Yale Cancer Center, sorts out the facts about breast cancer and offers simple ways to reduce risk.

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