Tari King, MD, FACS, chief of Breast Surgery, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham Women’s Cancer Center, discusses surgical approaches in breast cancer.
Tari King, MD, FACS, chief of Breast Surgery, Brigham Women’s Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses surgical approaches for patients with breast cancer.
There are a number of factors to take into account when selecting the necessary approach for an individual patient, King says. Along with the size of the tumor and whether or not the disease is in the lymph nodes, it’s important to consider the biology of the tumor. Simply put, this means physicians are looking at hormone receptor status, progesterone receptor status, and HER2 status. These factors all determine a patient’s treatment plan, which is considered when determining a surgical plan. If a patient will derive benefit from chemotherapy, sometimes neodadjuvant chemotherapy will improve outcomes for that patient by downstaging the tumor and leading to a smaller operation. A lumpectomy, for example, would maintain cosmesis of the breast.
King concludes that deciding the right treatment and surgical approach for a patient is still a multidisciplinary approach.