Posts tagged ‘breast cancer’

A New Era for Breast Cancer Care

Photo by Greg Grieco

A new study may change the face of breast cancer treatment, and Dr. Monica Morrow ’74 is one of the doctors at its helm.

The study, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, finds that women with early-stage breast cancer do not require lymph node removal surgery in the armpit. Dr. Morrow, chief of breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, is one of the study’s authors.

These are important findings for a couple of reasons: For one, lymph node removal has been a standard part of breast cancer treatment for 100 years. Previously, doctors believed that by removing cancerous nodes, the cancer was less likely to spread and patients were more likely to survive. Second, the procedure is painful, and often accompanied by dangerous complications like infection, swelling, and nerve damage.  The study suggests that lymph node dissection has no advantage, saving many women from the serious side effects.

Dr. Morrow and her work have been on our radar for a while now. We blogged (more…)

February 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

The Bryce Jordan Center, All in Pink

The Penn State women’s basketball team got a great win on Sunday, beating Illinois 70-66—the Lady Lions have now won six straight and are second in the Big Ten standings, which is terrific to see after a couple of years where Penn State really struggled.

Today was the fourth annual Pink Zone Day, where everybody—and I mean everybody—wore pink; more than 250 breast-cancer survivors were honored at halftime; and more than $66,000 was raised for breast cancer charities.

Below is a montage of four photos I took today, with captions below.

Clockwise from top: Mimi Barash Coppersmith ’54, former chair of the Penn State board of trustees and a breast cancer survivor … Tammy Miller '93, '95g, another survivor … survivors and supporters dancing at halftime … the Nittany Lion in pink.

If you want to see a few more photos from Pink Zone Day (not a lot—just 13 in all), click here. And there’s still time to donate to this year’s Pink Zone cause; you can do that here.

Tina Hay, editor

January 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm 2 comments

Breast Cancer Choices

Monica Morrow ’74 has long contended that some women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are too quick to opt for a mastectomy, when breast-conserving surgery in many cases offers the same survival rate. Dr. Morrow is chief of breast surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York; we ran a Q&A with her on this subject in our September-October 2008 issue.

A new study led by Dr. Morrow finds that physicians are doing a good job of conveying the treatment options to women who have breast cancer, and that 75 percent of the women chose breast-sparing surgery, at least at first. But some still insisted on a mastectomy, not because their doctor recommended it, but because they believed it would improve their odds of survival. The study was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association; you can read more about it here and here. Read about a related study by Dr. Morrow earlier this year here.

Tina Hay, editor

October 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm 1 comment

Breast Cancer Concerns

Layout 1 copyIn our September-October 2008 issue, we ran a feature-length Q&A with Monica Morrow ’74, one of the world’s most respected authorities on breast cancer. Morrow is chief of the breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. One of the big themes in our piece was her view that too many women with breast cancer opt for a mastectomy when something less drastic—such as a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy—can offer just as much chance for survival.

This week’s British Medical Journal carries an editorial by Dr. Morrow on another type of breast-cancer treatment, and here she seems to be taking a more cautious stance. The subject in this case is minimally invasive breast surgery, along with a related technique called “oncoplastic breast surgery.” Morrow says those approaches have gained in popularity in recent years—but, she argues, they focus too much on cosmetic outcomes and not enough on curing the cancer. She’d like to see more research on the effectiveness of these newer approaches.

Morrow is both an Alumni Fellow and Distinguished Alumna of Penn State.

Tina Hay, editor

February 25, 2009 at 11:58 am 2 comments

Pink Everywhere

dsc_3983-sm-pink-seatsToday was the Lady Lion basketball team’s third annual “Pink Zone” day, an event to raise awareness for breast-cancer research, and I think I’ll be seeing pink for the next three days at least. The Bryce Jordan Center was just a sea of pink today—the fans wore pink, the Lady Lion players wore pink, the Iowa players wore pink, the refs used pink whistles, the game ball had a pink Nike swoosh stripe … you get the idea.

There was a very impressive halftime ceremony honoring breast-cancer survivors and their families, and a bunch of money (exact amount to be announced later) was raised for breast-cancer-related charities.

The Lady Lions lost, 63-57—they blew a 20-point lead, which was frustrating. And some of the players in tears after the game; they’ve just lost far too many close games this year. But despite their disappointment they stuck around to sign pink T-shirts and pink ballcaps for the fans.

Below are some photos I took during the game. I’m the PA announcer for women’s basketball games at the Jordan Center, so my seat at the scoring table gives me a great view … I don’t usually bring my camera, as I’m usually too busy during the game to shoot photos, but today was special.

The Lion mascot joined breast-cancer survivors at halftime.

The Lion mascot joined breast-cancer survivors at halftime.

Players from both teams wore pink uniforms. This is Mashea Williams with the ball.

Players from both teams wore pink uniforms. This is Mashea Williams with the ball.

Penn State coach Coquese Washington

Penn State coach Coquese Washington

Even the refs got into the pink act.

Even the refs got into the pink act.

Brianne O'Rourke was one of a number of Lady Lions who stuck around to sign autographs after the game.

Brianne O'Rourke was one of a number of Lady Lions who stuck around to sign autographs after the game.

Oh, and after the game I stopped into Faccia Luna for a quick bite to eat, and the place was packed—with at least a third of the patrons wearing pink.

Tina Hay, editor

February 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

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