Newswise — LOS ANGELES (Sept. 25, 2023) – During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cedars-Sinai Cancer experts are available to discuss an uptick in breast cancer among younger patients and the innovative ways the academic medical center is treating breast cancer in diverse Southern California communities and beyond. Cedars-Sinai experts are able to give interviews in Spanish, Mandarin, Korean and English.
Patients currently undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai are also available to talk about their journeys.
“One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime,” said Armando E. Giuliano, MD, regional medical director for Cedars-Sinai Cancer, Breast Oncology. “Our clinical and research teams work every day to improve screening, discover new treatment options and save women’s lives.”
A current trend causing concern: younger patients. Breast cancer among women younger than 45 has increased about 8% over the past decade, according to a recent international study. Breast cancer tends to be more aggressive in younger patients.
Treating Young Patients
Yuan Yuan, MD, PhD, director of Breast Medical Oncology and the Breast Oncology Disease Research Group at Cedars-Sinai Cancer, is calling for younger women to be conscious of their risk. “If you feel a lump in your breast, see your doctor and ask to be referred for a mammogram—and an ultrasound if necessary,” Yuan said. “Know your family history and whether female and male blood relatives have had cancer. If they have, seek out genetic testing.”
Niki Patel, MD, a hematologist-oncologist who treats patients at Huntington Cancer Center, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Cancer, specializes in treating breast cancer in adolescents and young adults, for whom the diagnosis can be particularly devastating. “It is as important to me to talk with these patients about what is going on in their lives and how treatment might impact them as it is to discuss their cancer,” Patel said.
Treating Diverse Patients
Sylvia S. Estrada, RN, a nurse practitioner at the Cedars-Sinai Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center—A Project of Women’s Guild at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, specializes in patient education. “Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latina and Hispanic women, who are often diagnosed at later stages and lack access to the latest therapies and survivorship care,” Estrada said. Estrada is available for interviews in Spanish and English.
Jeannie Shen, MD, is medical director of the Breast Program and International Health at Huntington Cancer Center, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. Shen said she works to dispel the misconception that women without a family history of breast cancer aren’t at risk. “Treatment advances continue to improve breast cancer survival rates,” said Shen. “Don’t let fear keep you from getting the mammogram that could save your life.” Shen is available for interviews in Mandarin and English.
Jin Sun Lee-Bitar, MD, is a hematologist-oncologist focused on caring for patients in the diverse community served by Cedars-Sinai Cancer. She is dedicated to community outreach and reminds women to begin getting mammograms at age 40. “The screening age was lowered this year because of the increasing number of patients diagnosed at younger ages,” Lee-Bitar said. Lee-Bitar is available for interviews in Korean and English.