7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Location: Coffee House Cafe 6150 Frankford Rd. Dallas, TX 75252
Women diagnosed with breast cancer face a lot of uncertainty but must make critical decisions not long after diagnosis. One such choice is whether to keep or remove the healthy (unaffected) breast. Although studies suggest cancer occurring in the healthy breast (known as “contralateral breast cancer”) is rare for most breast cancer patients, currently there is no simple way for doctors to quantify this chance individually for their patients. Therefore, without hard facts and fear of uncertainty, many women diagnosed with cancer in one breast opt to have their healthy breast removed (a surgery known as contralateral prophylactic mastectomy). This surgery has risks and side effects and the loss of the healthy breast has a tremendous effect on the physical and psychological well-being of the patient.
To stem this trend, what is urgently needed is a model that predicts the individualized chance of contralateral breast cancer. Developing such a model is the goal for a group of researchers at UT Dallas, including Marzana Chowdhury. With this tool, physicians can educate their patients effectively about their risk of contralateral breast cancer. Thus, this model is expected to help reduce the rate of unnecessary removal of healthy breast in breast cancer patients. Marzana will present the work her team is doing.
This presentation is part of the UT Dallas science cafe program, Sips of Science. The program is committed to promoting public engagement with science and making science accountable by bringing it out of the classroom and into the public.