Breast Surgeon Discusses Innovations in Breast Surgery
Dr. Lynette Mendoza, Breast Surgeon at Holy Name Medical Center, describes the risk factors for breast cancer, the new innovations in breast surgery and the reconstruction options available for women who have undergone surgery.
"Welcome back to Life & Living. Advancements in cancer prevention and treatment have given women new hope. And now, the same is true for women undergoing reconstructive surgeries. Joining me to discuss this is Dr. Lynette Mendoza, who is a breast surgeon at Holy Name Medical Center. Welcome to the program. Thanks for having me, Joanna. Let's talk about where we are right now, in terms of really being able to detect cancer in women, and what we know...as to how that's impacting outcomes. So, I think a lot of media has been putting out there the importance of screening, and we actually have had a big increase in how many cancers we're detecting. And I think a lot of that stems from... because of our screening programs, a lot of institutions across the nation have actually implemented a lot of screening programs, and therefore we started to pick up more cancer - earlier cancers as well. So, a lot of the recommendations that we make, in particular, as breast surgeons, have actually differed from what we use to in the past. For example, one of the biggest questions, I guess, is "when should I start screening?" When should you start screening? And a lot of that depends on a full interview with the patient, and basically, their Breast Risk Assessment Questions. So, how would a woman know whether or not she has a higher risk? Is that simply going to your doctor every year? Your annual... having those conversations? Is it going to see a breast specialist? Well, it's two parts. It's really from your primary, and then, we're hoping we can start educating everybody, even at the primary level. Even as Sub Specialists, we have our own Breast Risk Assessment that we make. But starting at the primary level, you know, if you see a patient who has a very strong family history of breast cancer - even ovarian cancer, or other cancers in particular - these are the patients that you might raise a red flag and say, you know, perhaps you should go see a Breast Specialist and just assess, to see where you are in terms of risk. Other things would be, if you've had a lot of biopsies performed in the past, these are things that, perhaps, can weigh in to putting you at a higher risk. There are other things that we look at which could increase a risk, depending on the findings of our woman's biopsy, if they're atypical, or even if... for example, you haven't had any children particularly over the age of 35, if you have if you've had child or if you've had child... childbirth, but particularly if it was over the age of 35, while..."