NATIONAL (NBC/KAIT) - The breast cancer community includes more than just patients and survivors; it also includes the doctors who treat them.
Dr. Steven Mamus, oncologist, said breast cancer is a relatively common diagnosis, and one where they see a lot of success. Cure rates for breast cancer found very early could be greater than 90% potentially, according to Dr. Mamus.
He said the best improvement isn’t from chemotherapy or surgery. He believed the success can be attributed to awareness and the willingness to be screened early for breast cancer.
“I think in year’s past there may have been a feeling that ‘Well, if I am diagnosed with breast cancer what are we really going to do about it that’s helpful?’ I think it’s becoming much more accepted at this point that early screening, that patients who have intervention early, can do well, live normal lives,” said Mamus.
Advancements in diagnostic technology help doctors find breast cancer earlier. There are more sophisticated mammography methods, and more screening studies like a breast ultrasound.
After the diagnosis, doctors have more medical and surgical options to use for treatment than ever before.
“There’s been a number of new developments with regards to chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, sometimes we use this thing called targeted therapy. These have all had incremental improvements in outcome in breast cancer,” said Dr. Mamus.
Doctors recommend that women aged 40-45 or older, and who are at average risk for breast cancer, should have a mammogram once a year.