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

Genetic Testing: Personalized Medicine at its Best

February 16, 2018

In 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled against one company owning the patent on genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Changes in these genes are associated with a high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The ruling cited that human genes are not eligible for patents because they are a product of nature. Since this ruling, the world of cancer genetic testing has opened up both scientifically and financially.

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, only one commercial laboratory was able to offer testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Since the patent has been overturned, multiple laboratories have started to offer testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and from this, multigene cancer panels have emerged. Multigene cancer panels allow testing for many additional genes associated with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and various other cancers.

Read More Categories: Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening, Genetic Testing, Colon & Rectal Cancer

Mammograms… Who Needs ‘em?

October 6, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making it a great time to learn a little more about breast cancer screenings for yourself or a loved one. The information below will help you better understand why mammograms are important, other potential screening methods, when you should be screened and what can be done if someone needs a mammogram but cannot afford one. This knowledge can help you be better informed so you can share it with others this October, as well as the rest of the year.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening

1