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  • Understanding Risk and Surgical Decisions

    Posted 9/20/2013 by hhill
      This is another in my continuing series about surgical decisions. Although I will always support a woman's decisions for herself, I often feel that women do not fully understand the realities of cancer risk and the consequences of surgery. Surgeons, in general, resist removing healthy organs and usually push back, at least a bit, if a woman wants her other (non-cancer) breast removed. They may also push back a bit if a woman chooses mastectomy with lumpectomy/wide excision would be an equally sound medical decision. Read more... Comments (0)
  • DCIS Again

    Posted 8/29/2013 by hhill
      I do realize that this is one of those topics that either holds great interest or almost no interest to any one woman. However, since DCIS is quite prevalent, I am assuming that at least some readers will be glad to see this additional article. The theme is the same: whether the name of the condition makes a difference in how it is perceived and in the treatment choices woman make. That is, since DCIS (and LCIS) are not " really cancer", is it fair to have the C word be part of their label? Does its inclusion just scare everyone unnecessarily? Read more... Comments (0)
  • Mammogram Debate Continues

    Posted 8/8/2013 by hhill
      The debate continues, and I suspect that we (readers of this blog) have varying opinions on the correct recommendations around mammography and screening. If you have a breast cancer that was detected by a mammogram, you are likely to be a fervent supporter and uncomfortable with any suggestion that the test wasn't necessary or valuable. An important fact to remember in all of this: any recommendations about screening are directed at the general population of woman who have not had breast cancer. They are not talking about us. This is why our annual mammograms are called "diagnostic" rather than "screening". Read more... Comments (0)
  • Caffeine Intake and Coffee and Breast Cancer Risk

    Posted 5/19/2013 by hhill

      I debated whether or not to write about this, but decided that it is too good an example of the deluge of confusing and conflicting news to ignore. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will remember that not long ago, I wrote about a study that suggested that moderate coffee drinkers had a lower risk of breast cancer than those who drank less or no coffee.

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  • Understanding Risk of DCIS

    Posted 5/1/2013 by hhill
      Whatever the specifics of a breast cancer diagnosis, women worry. Of course we may worry a little more or a litte less depending on the statistics we hear or some of the details of the pathology, but we generally understand that no one gets a guarantee and that we are each an "n" of one. It has always interested me that this is equally true for women who are diagnosed with DCIS (or LCIS) which is generally described as "Stage 0". In fact, some doctors say that DCIS is not cancer, that it is something that might become cancer in the future if not treated. And the real kicker there is that many DCISs (is that the plural?) would never become invasive, but that we don't know how to tell those sleeper ones from the potentially dangerous ones. Read more... Comments (0)
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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