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Personalized Patient Care with Breast Surgical Oncology

October 31, 2019

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Diana M. Hook, M.D., breast surgical oncologist at Texas Breast Specialists–The Woodlands, discusses advancements in breast surgery.

What makes breast surgical oncology unique?

Breast surgical oncology is unique because every patient’s goals are so different, and their aesthetic goals are also taken into consideration ahead of treatment. I appreciate getting to work with a multidisciplinary team – including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and plastic surgeons – to provide comprehensive care for breast cancer patients.

How has breast surgical oncology changed over the course of your career?

Breast surgical oncology has changed immensely with new techniques and therapies. There’s an increased emphasis on oncoplastic breast surgery, which is the combination of oncologic surgery and plastic surgery to ensure improved, yet safe, cosmetic outcomes. For example, breast reduction or lift procedures can be combined with lumpectomies.

What advancements are you most excited about? Why?

I’m very excited about innovative surgical techniques that are minimally invasive for patients. In many cases, the incisions from treatment are so small that you can barely tell they were there.

What are some of the challenges specific to breast surgical oncology?

In cases of advanced or metastatic cancer, it’s challenging when surgery is not in a patient’s best interest. As a surgeon, I want to help every patient; however, I take my oath “to first, do no harm,” very seriously. When surgery is not the right choice for patients, I help them explore other courses of therapy. Fortunately, new treatment developments are giving breast cancer patients more options for care.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.