Mount Sinai Experts Offer Tips on Prevention and Detection for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Mount Sinai Experts Offer Tips on Early Detection, Screening, Understanding Risks, and Personalized Treatment Options

Approximately one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives, and an estimated 266,120 of them will receive that diagnosis this year.* However, on average, 90 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive for at least five years, which is why early detection, screening, and personalized treatments are key when it comes to saving lives.**

Thanks to promising advances in precision medicine, improved screening technology, genetic testing, cutting-edge surgical techniques, and targeted and individualized drug therapies that continue to transform the field, women with breast cancer are living longer and more active lives. Mount Sinai has been at the forefront of this treatment evolution and is the first hospital in the United States to offer the latest clinical trial, the ASPIRE Trial, for patients with metastatic or advanced breast cancer.

Mount Sinai experts are available to offer tips on early detection, screening, and new treatments.

Experts Available for Interviews

  • Susan K. Boolbol, MD, Chief of Breast Surgery, The Blavatnik Family – Chelsea Medical Center at Mount Sinai
  • Paula Klein, MD, Director, Cancer Clinical Trials, The Blavatnik Family – Chelsea Medical Center at Mount Sinai
  • Amy Tiersten, MD, Breast Oncologist, the Dubin Breast Center, The Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Laurie Margolies, MD, FACR, Chief of Breast Imaging, the Dubin Breast Center, The Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Elisa Port, MD, Director, the Dubin Breast Center, The Mount Sinai Hospital
  • J. Jaime Alberty, MD, Breast Surgical Oncologist, the Dubin Breast Center and Mount Sinai Queens (Spanish-speaking)

Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

  • Limit alcohol and don’t smoke. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day. Some studies link smoking to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn helps prevent breast cancer. The recommended activity is 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, weekly.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy that contains both estrogen and progesterone and is given to women after menopause should be avoided.

Understanding Risks and Options

  • Know your genes and family history: Five to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations (commonly in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2) and 15 percent of women who get breast cancer have a family member with the disease.
  • More treatment isn’t always better: The average breast cancer patient who has a bilateral mastectomy will have no better survival than the average patient who spares the healthy breast by choosing lumpectomy plus radiation.
  • Don’t overestimate risk: When a woman has breast cancer on one side, it can spread to other parts of the body, but only very rarely does it spread to the other breast.

A New Era in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Treating Patients With Biologics
The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai is the first and only center in the country to offer the ASPIRE clinical trial—a first-line biologic therapy which combines anastrozole, palbociclib, trastuzumab and pertuzumab in metastatic hormone receptor-positive, HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Amy Tiersten, MD, a breast oncologist at the Dubin Breast Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital who is the lead investigator of the trial, believes that what truly is groundbreaking is avoiding chemotherapy and radiation, and using a regimen that is all biologics. “This protocol combines state-of-the-art anti-estrogen therapy with the antibodies to the Her2neu protein,” she said. “What’s also novel about the protocol is using palbociclib in the Her2neu positive population to really maximize all biologics. The most exciting part about ASPIRE is that patients can actually have quality of life with metastatic breast cancer.”

New Mobile Mammography Program: Breast Screening and Education Van Rolls Into New York City
Mount Sinai’s new program brings vital breast cancer education programs and screening services to women throughout the five boroughs. Our multilingual team works with organizations and individuals to tailor services to meet community interests and needs. Health educators and patient navigators work directly with patients who need more help arranging for and completing their screenings. The van is equipped with state-of-the-art 3D mammography equipment which produces images of breast tissue in one-millimeter-thin layers, allowing radiologists to better detect tissue abnormalities. It also uses an information system that makes intake and follow-up communications available in many languages. The goal: to help women 40 and over get annual screening mammograms and diagnose breast cancer as early as possible. It is the only such breast screening program on wheels serving the city. This project is supported with funds from Health Research Inc. and the New York State Department of Health.

New FDA-Approved Treatment Available for Hair Loss
Mount Sinai Health System is offering the DigniCap scalp cooling system—FDA approved to effectively reduce the likelihood of chemotherapy-induced hair loss in women with breast cancer—in three of its cancer center locations. The system is available at the Dubin Breast Center, The Blavatnik Family – Chelsea Medical Center at Mount Sinai, and Mount Sinai West. The DigniCap system is the first and only scalp-cooling device to complete FDA clinical trials in the United States, where 7 out of 10 patients with early-stage breast cancer kept at least 50 percent of their hair.

About Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai’s vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Medical Schools”, aligned with a U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” Hospital, it is ranked as a leading medical school for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in six other specialties in the 2018-2019 “Best Hospitals” issue. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology and 44th for Ear, Nose, and Throat, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org/, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.