September Physician Focus: Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, second only to skin cancer. About one in eight women will developBreast Cancer MMS Blog the disease during their lifetime, and three out of four will develop it after age 50.

The good news is that death rates from this disease have been declining for some 25 years, largely due to better treatment.

The standard for preventive care has been the mammogram, yet differing opinions from health professionals about this screening have raised concern and confusion. The advent of genetic testing and the growing acceptance of preventive mastectomies have added to the concerns.

The September edition of Physician Focus discusses these and other topics about breast cancer with medical oncologists from The Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Guests are Nadine Tung, M.D., (photo, right) Director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, and Gerburg Wulf, M.D., Ph.D., (center) medical oncologist and researcher. Hosting this edition is B. Dale Magee, M.D., (left) a past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Among the topics of conversation are the current thinking and controversy surrounding mammograms and how they differ from MRIs in detecting the disease; risk factors; genetic testing; preventive mastectomies; the relationship between breast cancer, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy; and lifestyle issues that can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at,, and on YouTube.

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