Listen as Dr. Lebovic explains how a surgeon decides what type of treatment is needed for a woman's breast cancer.
When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, there’s a series of events that occurred that are quite complicated and it depends upon mostly the pathology report of the type of cancer that a woman has. It will depend on the type, the size of the cancer. Again, that’s determined under the microscope by the pathologist and several other tumor markers, which are characteristics of the tumor that tell us it’s personality; it kind of tells us how friendly the tumor is versus how aggressive it is and that’s how the surgeon will work through with the patient, her decision in terms of whether to save the breast or whether the breast needs to be removed. It is a very complicated question because each woman’s tumor is different and the size of the breast determines also how much tissue you can take out or leave behind. So, the surgeon works through that generally with the patient given the information from the pathologist.
About Dr. Gail Lebovic, M.D., M.A., F.A.C.S.:
Dr. Gail Lebovic is the President of the American Society of Breast Disease (ASBD). She earned a B.A. in physiology and anatomy and a master's in endocrinology from University of California, Berkeley. In 1986, she received her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. After an internship at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, she performed her surgical residency at Stanford University Medical Center and completed two fellowships – one in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast and another at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Lebovic is certified by the American Board of Surgery and her areas of special medical interest include diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, and management of congenital breast deformities. She has also invented several medical devices and co-founded a number of companies in the area of women's health including Biolucent, Inc., makers of the MammoPad™ breast cushion designed to make mammography more comfortable.