News Release

2014 Breast Cancer Symposium highlights research advances in prevention, screening, therapy

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Society of Clinical Oncology

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Five studies from the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium were highlighted today in an embargoed presscast for reporters. Presentations focused on new studies exploring preventive mastectomy, compliance with recommended screening mammography, and risk of recurrence after pre-surgery therapy for breast cancer. The Symposium will take place September 4-6, 2014, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA.

Five major studies were highlighted in today's presscast:

Angelina Jolie's Story May Have Helped Double BRCA Testing Rates at a Canadian Cancer Center: A new study shows that Angelina Jolie's public announcement and resulting media coverage of her decision to undergo a preventive mastectomy due to her BRCA mutation status likely drove an almost doubling of genetic referrals, testing, and detection of BRCA mutation carriers at a Canadian academic center over a six month period.

Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction Complications Are Rare, Though Double Mastectomy Has Higher Risk of Certain Complications Compared to Single Mastectomy: A large study assessing 30-day complications after breast surgery with reconstruction in more than 18,000 women with breast cancer found that complications from either bilateral (double) or unilateral (one-sided) mastectomy with reconstruction are infrequent, but women who undergo the bilateral procedure have higher rates of implant loss and need for transfusion, and typically have a longer hospital stay.

Survey Reveals Factors Influencing Women to Consider Preventive Double Mastectomy: A survey conducted among 150 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer at two Chicago hospitals finds that women who opted for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy tended to have higher levels of anxiety but less knowledge about the actual likelihood of breast cancer recurrence compared to women who did not consider or want the procedure.

A Simple Intervention Improves Return Rates for Women Overdue for Screening Mammography: A large Canadian study finds that simply adding a letter signed by the primary care doctor to standard postcard reminders increased the odds of a women returning for mammogram screening.

Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Tumor Subtype Are Strong Predictors of Loco-regional Breast Cancer Recurrence: Large study provides new insight on the factors affecting loco-regional breast cancer recurrence in women treated with chemotherapy before surgery. The findings could help to better identify women who may benefit from receiving radiotherapy after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.

"Understanding what motivates our patients to get testing or make treatment choices is critical to us as oncologists for providing the highest quality of care," said Harold Burstein, MD, ASCO Expert. "The studies featured today provide crucial insight into patient decision-making and advance our knowledge of post-treatment risk of recurrence and complications."

This year's three-day conference will bring together oncology professionals to discuss the latest advances in breast cancer research, in order to enhance treatment approaches and patient care through multidisciplinary collaboration. One hundred sixty abstracts will be presented at the meeting, focusing on treatment approaches and enhancing patient care for the 232,670 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer expected to occur in 2014*.


Six leading medical specialty societies co-sponsor the multidisciplinary Symposium, including the American Society of Breast Disease, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the National Consortium of Breast Centers, and the Society of Surgical Oncology. Learn more about the co-sponsoring organizations.

More information for media: Oncologist-approved patient information resources are available on ASCO's cancer information website, Cancer.Net. An interactive history of cancer research advances, including those in breast cancer, can be found on ASCO's Cancer Progress website at http://www.CancerProgress.Net/breast. Follow updates from the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium on Twitter: #BCS14.

2014 Breast Cancer Symposium News Planning Team

Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD, FASCO, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); Amy P. Early, MD, American Society of Breast Disease (ASBD); Julie A. Margenthaler, MD, The American Society of Breast Surgeons; Julia White, MD, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

View the disclosures for the News Planning Team.


* Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Atlanta, GA; American Cancer Society: 2014

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