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Texas Breast Specialists–South Austin Welcomes Dr. Aimee Mackey

October 25, 2021

Aimee Mackey, M.D., FACS, breast surgeon, is now seeing patients at Texas Breast Specialists–South Austin. Dr. Mackey tells us about her personal connection to her specialty and the myths she’d like to dispel about breast cancer.

What inspired you to specialize in breast surgery?

I always knew I wanted to be a surgeon – I just wasn't sure what kind. During residency, I was drawn toward oncology because I found it to be very rewarding. Specifically, I enjoyed developing long-term relationships with breast cancer patients and helping them fight their disease. In addition, since breast cancer care is constantly evolving, it pushes me to continue to learn and provide patients with the most up-to-date care.

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

This one is a little personal. My family carries the BRCA1 mutation, so I'm very grateful for how far genetic testing has come in the last decade. Some of the most aggressive cancers are in genetic mutation carriers, which makes the research on triple-negative breast cancer and the subset of BRCA+ triple-negative cancer very exciting. I hope it continues to improve the outcomes for our patients (and my family!). Breast surgery has changed so much over the last 20 years, and I believe it will continue to push the envelope as we listen to patients’ feedback regarding quality-of-life measures.

My patients inspire me to live life to the fullest and not take any of it for granted."

What has working with cancer patients taught you about resiliency in the human spirit?

Patients are amazing! I believe our patients are grateful for their treatments and really learn to embrace life when they are forced to look at it head on. I have numerous patients who change their lifestyles or start doing the activities they always wished they had done before being diagnosed. My patients inspire me to live life to the fullest and not take any of it for granted.

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

Gosh, there are so many! First, some people think that mammograms cause cancer – this is untrue. Mammograms actually save lives. We recommend that everyone start receiving annual mammograms at age 40 to identify cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable.

Second, some people believe that a father’s family history isn’t important for breast cancer risk – this is also untrue. It is critical to obtain a full family history, as breast cancer genes can be passed on from either your mother or your father. For example, in my family, my mother inherited the gene from her father who lived into his 80s with no problems despite his four sisters being diagnosed with breast cancer.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love spending time with my family. I have four young kids – aged 6 years, 4 years, 2 years, and 9 months – and a dog. We like to play outside and enjoy nature. I grew up in the south, so of course I love football games in the fall! My husband and I also enjoy listening to live music and trying new restaurants.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.