Early detection of breast cancer saves lives

By Christine Hodyl, DO, FACS, DDirector of Breast Health Services Mount Sinai South Nassau

When my patient Jennifer Scarduzio, a resident of Baldwin, went for a routine mammogram, she hadn’t anticipated that it would kick off a year of surgery and treatment.

Jennifer’s mammogram detected ductal carcinoma in situ, a small growth often referred to as stage zero breast cancer. However, the final pathological results of the surgery were very different from those of the initial biopsy. She was eventually diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

Comforted by family and friends, Jennifer had to travel approximately two miles from her home to Mount Sinai South Nassau Breast Health to receive the care she needed. Her treatment included a double mastectomy with reconstruction, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Today Jennifer, 52, no longer has cancer.

Jennifer gives this advice: “Get tested no matter how scary the result can be. I couldn’t agree more.

An average of nearly 2,400 women in Long Island as well as nearly 300,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. During my career as a breast cancer physician and surgeon, I have known the vital difference in detecting cancer at an early stage.

Every day at Mount Sinai South Nassau Women’s Imaging, specialists use digital mammography, high-resolution ultrasound, MRI, and minimally invasive procedures to detect early-stage breast disease and help develop plans for breast cancer. processing.

Thus, if conservative breast surgery is desired, our surgeons use advanced techniques which aim to preserve as much as possible the healthy breast. If a mastectomy, an operation in which the entire breast is removed, is needed, there are options for breast reconstruction. For invasive breast cancer, these procedures may be accompanied by a sentinel node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection.

Hormone therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of two of these therapies following either surgical approach may be prescribed. In early stage breast cancer, sentinel node biopsy is used as an alternative to traditional lymph node dissection.

My colleagues and I are always on the lookout for medical innovations. We are now recruiting patients in a phase 3 randomized trial which studies axillary lymph node dissection to see its efficacy compared to axillary radiotherapy in the treatment of patients with breast cancer with lymph node invasion treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed surgery.

However, the cornerstone of the care we provide is the strong relationship we build with patients. This, combined with the support of loved ones and the comprehensive, quality care we provide, is Mount Sinai South Nassau’s approach to beating breast cancer.

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