Breast Cancer: Early Detection, Higher Risks and the Effect of COVID-19

Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine
,
Season
2
,
Episode
3

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, host Benyamin Cohen sits down with two of the Hadassah's breast cancer pioneers in the oncology department. Listen as he speaks with Professor Beatrice Uziely, head of Hadassah’s Oncology ambulatory services unit and Dr. Paluch-Shimon, director of the Breast Oncology Program to discuss all things breast cancer and how patients are coping in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.

About the Episode

About the Episode

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month winding down, it's important to remember this: Breast cancer, perhaps more than many other diseases, has become such a well-known topic among women that it can be easy to forget that there is always more to learn on the subject. This bonus episode of "Hadassah On Call" aims to let our listeners in on the latest in causes, treatments and research.

The show features a wide-ranging conversation with Professor Beatrice Uziely, the head of Oncology and Ambulatory Services at Hadassah's Sharett Institute of Oncology, and Dr. Shani Paluch-Shimon, the new director of Breast Oncology at Hadassah. Here's some of what you'll hear on this special episode...

How COVID-19 may lead to an uptick in breast cancer cases: Due to sheltering-in-place during the global pandemic, many women have opted to skip their usual mammogram checkups. "It's a major concern," said Dr. Paluch-Shimon. "It's very possible that we'll see some delays in diagnosis. In some cases, even a small delay can be a disaster." Added Professor Uziely: "I had a few patients —they saw something in their breast seven or eight months ago and didn't go for a mammogram. So I urge everybody to go and do their checkups. And if you find something, go urgently to a doctor."

Young patients with breast cancer face unique challenges: Hadassah's approach to breast cancer treatment is a multidisciplinary one. Doctors, psychologists, social workers are all part of the care team and a case manager known as a patient navigator helps guide each individual through the process. Young women, in particular, can be coping with a multitude of difficulties — from body image issues to worries about fertility. One way the doctors help is by offering fertility preservation treatment. "Hadassah was one of the first hospitals in Israel to do this," explained Dr. Paluch-Shimon. "We can actually take out a piece of ovarian tissue and freeze it and it can be re-implanted back into the woman after several years. And eggs can be retrieved from there. That little bit of ovarian tissue can actually return hormonal functioning for a woman. So we have a lot of options today. And, of course, we have all the expertise we need here." Professor Uziely said it all boils down to the relationship she has with her patients. "It's amazing to see someone who will continue their life as usual as possible," she said. "This is really overwhelming for a physician."

What else you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Why men should also get checked for breast cancer
  • Angelina Jolie brought new awareness to triple-negative breast cancer, and there are new treatments available
  • What steps you can take to help prevent breast cancer
  • A sneak peek of Hadassah Hospital's breast cancer center expansion

Further learning

Hadassah kicks off Breast Cancer Month with insights from experts
Breast Cancer and BRCA Gene Research at Hadassah Hospital

Read a transcript of this episode.

"Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine" is a production of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Hadassah enhances the health of people around the world through medical education, care and research innovations at the Hadassah Medical Organization. For more information on the latest advances in medicine please to hadassah.org.

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. If you haven't already, please leave us a review on the iTunes store. It only takes a minute and when you do it helps others discoverr "Hadassah on Call."

The show is hosted by Benyamin Cohen and edited by Skyler Inman and the team at the Hadassah offices in both New York and Israel.

This episode includes a promotion for:

The Branch
This podcast offers a glimpse into the everyday lives of Jews and Arabs in Israel forging meaningful relationships. Presented by Hadassah and hosted by Dina Kraft, "The Branch" shines a light on the stories of people living the example of a shared society. Together. Even though it’s complicated.hadassah.org/thebranch

Also, we're looking to you our listeners, for which medical experts you'd like to hear from in the weeks ahead on this podcast. Please let us know by sending an email to us at marketing@hadassah.org.