Breast Cancer Summit: a chance to learn from distinguished leaders in research and care

mCancerPartner recently sat down with Daniel Hayes, M.D., the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, to discuss the upcoming Breast Cancer Summit, a day-long community event highlighting breast cancer prevention, treatment and survival.

Daniel F. Hayes, MD

Daniel F. Hayes, MD

mCancer Partner: Not only are you participating in the Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Summit as a speaker, but I understand you championed its formation. Why do you feel it’s important for our community to have access to this breast cancer event?

Dr. Hayes: The U-M faculty presenting at this summit are a distinguished group. It isn’t every day that a community has direct access to so many nationally and internationally recognized breast cancer experts. To explain, we at the Cancer Center have more than four decades of breast cancer experience – screening, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. We also were one of the first cancer centers in the country to have a multidisciplinary weekly tumor board for our breast cancer patients; ours began 25 years ago. As a result, we have world leaders in every facet of breast cancer research and care – surgery, radiation oncology, pathology, imaging and medical oncology.  Many of our faculty are involved in setting national guidelines for clinical care. I think it is pretty rare for so many breast cancer specialists of this caliber to be in one place, at the same time, and accessible to patients, families, survivors and their supporters locally. Continue reading

Your invitation to Ann Arbor’s Breast Cancer Summit

A community event

If you are a breast cancer survivor, caregiver or member of the general public concerned about breast cancer, please join us for a Breast Cancer Summit on Saturday, April 20, at Washtenaw Community College. The summit bridges the gap between our community and academic medicine by giving the audience a chance to ask questions and interact with U-M breast cancer specialists. Many are leaders nationally in the fight against breast cancer.

Maria Lyzen, right, and Ruth Freedman lead the Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Advisory and Advocacy Committee.

Maria Lyzen, right, and Ruth Freedman lead the Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Advisory and Advocacy Committee.

The summit was organized through encouragement from the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s breast cancer advocates. They feel the summit is a way to let the community know that the U-M breast cancer specialists are collaborative and multidisciplinary. Panel discussions and a mock tumor board will give the audience a first-hand look at how these leading oncologists work together on behalf of their patients. They will also give an update on the latest breast cancer research at Michigan and nationally, showing what has been learned and how vital research donations are to these research advances.

The summit will cover:

  • cancer prevention
  • screening
  • treatment
  • research, including clinical trials
  • survivorship
  • genetic risk Continue reading

Men Can and Do Get Breast Cancer

While we tend to think of breast cancer as a women’s disease, men can develop breast cancer, too.  The group is small—fewer than 1% of all breast cancer cases—and it is most often found in men between the ages of 60 and 70.

Adam Bowles designed this pink and blue ribbon in honor of his father Brock. Kriss Maracacci-Bowles, Adam’s step-mother, shared his design that adorns stickers that she hands out for Men’s Breast Cancer awareness.

Today, survival is similar for both men and women when their stage at diagnosis is the same. But men are less likely than women to notice changes in their breasts or chest, or to mention these changes to their doctors. As a result, men’s breast cancer is more often diagnosed at a later stage, when a cure is less likely.

Know your risk factors, and talk to your doctor right away if you find any lumps or changes in your chest area, such as skin puckering or nipple changes. That is key to early detection and successful treatment.  Common risk factors for men include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Inherited gene mutations
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Radiation exposure
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity

If there is a chance you have breast cancer and you have testing that is positive for breast cancer, additional diagnostics and staging will be the same as for women, because the types of breast cancer in both sexes are the same. Treatments for men and women are the same, too, most often a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy.

Steps that any man can take who is concerned about a risk for breast cancer include drinking alcohol in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. The best strategy to prevent breast cancer is early detection and prompt treatment.

For more information:

American Cancer Society,  Breast Cancer in Men

National Cancer Institute,  General information about male breast cancer

National Cancer Institute,  Incidence and mortality

MedlinePlus, Male Breast Cancer

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Do men get breast cancer?

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Breast Cancer/Special Populations/Men