Clinical Trials Driving Improved Survival Rates in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

August 31, 2021

By: Michael A. Danso, MD

The advent of immunotherapy and genomic analyses of cancer cells has led to rapid evolution in treatment options for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). 

Recent and ongoing clinical trials have identified multiple therapies that may help cure more early-stage patients with this often-aggressive cancer, a form prevalent in both younger women and African Americans. 

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research

A New Treatment Approach for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

July 28, 2021

By: Sonia E. Hepburn, MD

Until recently, breast cancer has remained largely in the background as immunotherapy has gained ground in treating many other types of cancer.

However, evidence now supports a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment

How Breast Cancer Treatment Has Become More Conservative and Effective

July 23, 2021

By: Kasey Fuqua

Breast Cancer Treatment Has Become More Tailored and Targeted

Treatment for breast cancer has come a long way from mastectomies and broad-spectrum chemotherapy. Thanks to new research and clinical trials, treatment has become more personalized—and conservative—than ever, improving not only survival rates but quality of life throughout survival. For the nearly 235,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year, these advances can’t come soon enough.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing, Cancer Research

Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

May 7, 2021

If there was a test that could give you more insight into your breast cancer risk, would you take it? Or would having that information add too much worry to your life? Genetic testing for breast cancer can offer very important information about your genetic makeup and its impact on your risk for developing breast cancer – as well as your family’s risk for developing breast and other cancers. However, genetic testing is not for everyone. To find out if it is for you, let's take a look at what genetic testing means, who should get tested, the pros and cons, and how to get started. 

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing, Cancer Management

Breast Cancer Risk Reduction

February 24, 2021

By Melissa M. Stewart

If you are a woman who believes doing regular self-exams will lower your breast cancer risk, think again. In fact, experts no longer advocate checking for lumps on your own.

Dr. Sonia Hepburn, a Hematology-Oncology specialist with Virginia Oncology Associates, says that both the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force now endorse clinical exams only.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Prevention

Taking Charge of Your Breast Health

November 12, 2020

By Cristina S. Alencar, MD, Virginia Oncology Associates

Part 1 of the Series: How to be proactive with your health

Women who know their breasts are more likely to catch changes that could indicate cancer.

Every breast is unique, including its textures and density. Genetic factors and lifestyle choices can directly affect breast health. A clinical breast exam (CBE) done by your healthcare professional at least once a year, and monthly breast self-exams can uncover problems at an early, treatable stage.  

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer

Cancer Research is Advancing Breast Cancer Treatment Options

February 5, 2020

By David Z. Chang, MD,PhD, FACP

Recent developments in breast cancer treatment have continued to fuel our movement toward tailored treatment for each individual patient.

Two of the newest and most promising fronts are targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Both aim to more effectively kill cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue, thereby causing fewer debilitating side effects as compared to traditional chemotherapy.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Healthcare Providers

Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment

November 21, 2019

By Daniel Atienza, MD

At Virginia Oncology Associates, we see a large volume of breast cancer patients. Because breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, it’s important that we stay on top of how breast cancer treatments are changing and evolving so we can ensure our patients have access to the right care. We encourage patients to participate in clinical trials.

Women are surviving breast cancer at higher rates than ever. We can attribute that to multiple factors, including screening (it’s extremely important to keep your mammogram appointments), new, better tolerated therapy options, and improved supportive measures.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer

What to Expect at Your First Mammogram

November 19, 2019

A lot of women are nervous about mammograms. Mammograms are a routine screening tool for early detection of breast cancer in middle aged to older women. It's effective, inexpensive, and non-invasive, although it can be a little uncomfortable.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening

What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

October 16, 2019

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. Accounting for 1% to 5% of all breast cancer diagnoses in the United States, this type of cancer forms in the cells that line the breasts’ milk ducts, but quickly spreads to nearby lymph nodes and sometimes other tissues in the body. The cancer is called “inflammatory” because the cancer cells usually block the lymphphatic vessels in the breast. This causes fluid to build up, which leads to inflammation that is usually red and tender.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer

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