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Welcome Dr. Liza O. Thalheimer to Texas Breast Specialists

August 15, 2022

Liza O. Thalheimer, M.D., FACS, breast surgeon, is now seeing patients at Texas Breast Specialists–Houston Willowbrook, North Cypress, and Tomball. Dr. Thalheimer dispels a common misconception about breast cancer and highlights two innovative treatments she is most looking forward to as cancer treatment evolves.

What inspired you to specialize in breast surgical oncology?

I have always been passionate about women’s health and believed I would become an obstetrician/gynecologist. However, during my third and fourth year of medical school, I developed an intense love for general surgery and ended up matching in this specialty for my residency. During my chief year, I decided breast surgery would be a perfect fit as it combines women’s health and surgery.

How has your specialty shaped who you are?

Experiencing the positive impact my work has had on countless patients and families is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling beyond my expectations. The resilience of my patients throughout their treatment and survivorship is an inspiration and definitely shaped me into who I am today as a physician.

What is a myth you would like to dispel about breast cancer?

Most patients do not realize breast surgery cannot alter survivorship. Whether it is a small part or the entire breast that is removed, survival remains unchanged. Surgery is localized to the breast and lymph nodes; therefore, patients have many options. No two patients are alike, which is why I present each patient with all available options since breast surgery is not a “one-size-fits-all” specialty.

What are you most looking forward to as breast cancer treatment continues to evolve?

Breast cancer treatment is evolving as we speak. First, I am excited about treatment for metastatic breast cancer. It is exciting that more resources are funding the research on metastatic breast cancer and, thus, improving treatment. Second, I am very excited about contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM). In many instances, it can be used in place of breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). CEM is more comfortable for patients, and the information obtained from the imaging can sometimes be as good, if not better, than a breast MRI.

What is the number one item on your bucket list you’d like to achieve this year?

I would like to grow my practice in the Northwest Houston area, focusing on communities where I have not previously been present. These communities have a strong need for oncology care, including breast surgery, that is closer to home.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a young child, I wanted to be a psychiatrist. To this day, psychiatry has remained one of my favorite fields. If I had not become a surgeon, I would have been a psychiatrist.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.