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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Newswise, September 30, 2015– Roughly 230,000 women in the United States will develop breast cancer this year. Nearly 90% of women survive breast cancer five years, and beyond. The right treatment choices set the stage for life.

Often, a woman’s visceral response to a breast cancer diagnosis is, “I need to act fast. I want to be done with cancer - remove my breasts.” 

The truth is, women have time to evaluate thoughtful, personalized treatment decisions with their doctor.

Conversations with doctors about treatment options help women achieve the best outcome and maintain quality of life whether they are diagnosed with an early form of breast lesions called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or metastatic disease that has spread from the breast to other organs.

“A woman should carefully consider how treatment choices, from a breast-conserving lumpectomy to double mastectomy, systemic treatment options such as chemotherapy, anti-estrogen therapy, and breast radiation improve her chances of living cancer-free with the best quality of life based on her unique breast cancer,” says Charles L. Shapiro, MD, Co-Director of the Dubin Breast Center and Director of Translational Breast Cancer Research at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai.

“Mounting medical evidence shows more aggressive treatments may not yield better outcomes for all cancers.” 

“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach" to breast cancer, says Elisa Port, MD, Chief of Breast Surgery and Co-Director of the the Dubin Breast Cancer at The Mount Sinai Hospital. “You want a surgeon who focuses specifically on breast cancer, who is equipped to help you determine what’s best for you.” 

Understanding Risk & Options

Genes & Family History: Both are important in deciding your age for screening mammography and in weighing prophylactic treatment options.
Five to 10% of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations (commonly in BRCA1 & BRCA2) and 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member with the disease .

More Treatment Isn’t Always Better: The average breast cancer patient who has bilateral mastectomy will have no better survival than the average patient who spares the healthy breast by choosing lumpectomy plus radiation.

Don’t over-estimate risk: When a woman has breast cancer on one side, breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body, but only very rarely does it spread to the other breast. More common is to develop a new primary breast cancer in the other breast, but that too is only 5-10% at 10 years without any treatment. For those women who have estrogen receptor positive cancer treated with anti-estrogens, such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, the rates are cut in half, about 2.5-5% at 10 years. 

About the Dubin Breast Center
Encompassing more than 15,000 square feet at 1176 Fifth Avenue, the Dubin Breast Center represents a bold new vision for breast cancer treatment and research—one that focuses on the emotional, as well as the physical health of individuals who have or are at risk of developing breast cancer, as well as survivors and their families, and breast cancer related research aimed at improving treatment choices and survival. 

The Center also includes an evaluation and treatment center for breast medical oncology and an infusion center for chemotherapy. Additional services include screening, genetic and nutritional counseling, access to research protocols and trials, breast reconstruction, psychosocial support and other complementary services, such as massage therapy, for the patient and his or her family. 

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—.from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care. 

The System includes approximately 6,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers.

 Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. Seven departments at The Mount Sinai Hospital and one at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) ranked nationally in the top 25 in the 2015-2016 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report.Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. 

For more information, visit find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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