Name: David Nathanson, M.D.
Specialty: Surgical Oncology
Affiliations : Henry Ford Hospital Henry Ford Medical Center- West Bloomfield
What advances have been made in your specialty in the past year?
There are three treatment advances now available at Henry Ford Hospital for treating breast cancer.
Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, an innovative way to diagnose the spread of breast cancer that is being researched actively, is
now available outside of a research trial for selected patients. It enhances a physician's ability to diagnose where breast cancer
might spread and is less invasive than the standard treatment. Ductal lavage is a new technique for screening women at high risk
or breast cancer. A tiny catheter is inserted into the nipple and the ducts are 'washed' with salt water. The cells obtained by this procedure are evalu-
ted by a cytopathologist. This may diagnose early breast cancer, earlier than would be possible by mammogram, breast examination, MRI or ultra-
ound. Ductoscopy is a procedure that allows us to insert a scope into the nipple to actually see the inside of the ducts. This may show a very small
umor that can be removed in the operating room. Assessing women at high risk for developing breast cancer is now part of the mainstream for treat-
Are there any new options that women should consider?
The three procedures discussed above are viable options for patients as well as our high-risk breast program, which assesses a patient's risk factors,
provides counseling for prevention and offers screening and diagnostic tests for evaluation and detection.
Is there any new research that you would like to address?
Prevention of breast cancer is important and there are a number of clinical studies ongoing at Henry Ford Hospital that women are eligible to enter. One of
these is the STAR trial in which tamoxifen is compared to raloxifen in women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer. Tamoxifen, commonly pre-
scribed as a postcancer treatment, works by interfering with the hormone estrogen, which has been shown to help cancer cells grow. Raloxifen, a drug used to
treat osteoporosis, works also to block estrogen but keep its positive effects. Another clinical trial is evaluating whether herceptin used after primary cancer
treatments lessens the likelihood cancer will return. Many new drugs are also available for testing on suitable candidates.
Your advice to women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer:
Make sure you are treated by physicians using state-of-the-art treatment and technology. Do your own research either through the Internet,
National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society or your local public library, and talk about your needs with a competent professional and with
your family/friends. Get treatment as soon as possible. Your follow-up care is essential and should be done fastidiously. You may also consider volun-
teering for a clinical trial in which you will have access to the latest research treatment options.
Mark Segel M.D.
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, A. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center, Berkley Detection Center
What advances have been made in mammography?
The newest technology is digital mammography (similar to a digital camera). Although newer, more expensive technology is presumed to be better, it
takes five to 10 years for the technology to develop. Right now, the first machines don't necessarily reflect what the technology will be. There is no evi-
dence to suggest that digital mammography is better than film screen mammography — the two technologies are equal. Our hope is that the newest dig-
ital machines will have increased resolution, resulting in earlier detection.
Editor's note: Digital mammography uses the same technique as film screen mammography, except that the image is recorded directly into a computer, where it can then
be manipulated on the monitor. This may ultimately decrease the number of retakes women experience.
breast cancer awareness month
Halos for Hope
Swingin' Safari Soiree
Halos for Hope, a crystal angel,
was commissioned to support City
of Hope's breast cancer research
program. The City
of Hope National
Medical Center and
Institute is located
in Los Angeles.
Designed by Tom
Suzuki, this 2-inch-
high crystal col-
lectible features the
familiar pink ribbon,
known as the symbol of the hope
and awareness for breast cancer.
For purchase information, visit
The inaugural benefit for the
Henry Ford Health System
Nathanson/Rands Endowment for
Breast Cancer Research
will be held 7 p.m. Oct. 11,
at the Detroit Athletic
Club. The event will honor
Kim Nye, vice president
and general manager of
Saks Fifth Avenue. Jerilyn
and S. David Nathanson
M.D. Happy and Bill
Rands are the honorary
chairmen. For ticket infor-
mation, call (313) 876-9234.
STYLE AT THE JN
The Center for Jewish Healing, a
program of Jewish Family Service,
recently held a three-part pilot
series for women living with breast
cancer. The facilitators included
Rabbi Lauren Berkun, Dr. Ruth
Lerman and Rachel Yoskowitz. For
information about possible future
programs, call Rachel Yoskowitz at
Sharing and Caring
Sharing and Caring, a patient-driv-
en volunteer network affiliated with
Beaumont Hospital, provides edu-
cational programs for breast cancer
survivors. In honor of breast cancer
awareness month, Dr. Luana
Kyselka will speak 6 p.m. Oct. 17,
on "Understanding Studies on
HRT and Breast Cancer." For more
information, call (248) 551-8585.
Making Strides Against
The American Cancer Society
hosts a non-competitive walking
event Oct. 12, at Belle Isle Park
with registration at 8:30 a.m.
For more information, call
The Discovery Health channel in
cooperation with the American
Cancer Society will air "Beating
Breast Cancer" 9 p.m. Oct. 25, fol-
lowed by a Berman & Berman: For
Women Only breast cancer special.