Think Pink Breast Health Champion Q&A

Question: You battled breast cancer yourself nearly five years ago. Were you more prepared because of your background?
As a mother and wife, I experienced all of the same fears, concerns and vulnerabilities that my patients do. I felt the same terror when I got that phone call saying something suspicious had been found on my mammogram. I never expected a ‘free pass’ because of what I do professionally. Now I’m a ‘dual citizen’ – both a patient and a doctor.

Marisa Weiss, MD
Director, Breast Radiation Oncology and Breast Health Outreach
Founder and President,
Lankenau Medical Center

Question: How did you decide to specialize in breast cancer oncology?
I was fortunate to have outstanding mentors during my training. They opened my eyes to the vast need that there was in this field, which was in its infancy when I entered it. I was also inspired by the patients, strangers who invite providers into their world when they are most vulnerable and then go on to become like family.

Lori J. Goldstein, MD
Director, The Naomi and Phil Lippincott Breast Evaluation Center
Deputy Associate Director of Clinical Research
Fox Chase Cancer Center

Question: Is this an exciting time to be a cancer researcher?
Absolutely. In the past we wanted to help patients but didn’t have the tools to do so. Today we better understand the biology of cancer, which helps us make better treatment decisions.

Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP
Director, Jefferson Breast Care Center
Deputy Director, Translational Research
Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals

Question: What trends are you seeing?
More women are asking about bilateral mastectomy, which is an option women dreaded in the past. Reconstruction techniques have improved so much that women now see it as a very reasonable choice. But often, a lumpectomy would be the recommended treatment. Before making a decision, women should have all of the information they need so they’re not simply making a choice out of fear.

Steven Standiford, MD
Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff
Cancer Treatment Centers of America at
Eastern Regional Medical Center

Question: What inspires you?
The appreciation my patients show when I tell them good news or when they come back after treatment and tell me they are OK. I’m humbled by the trust my patients put in me. I get so much more from them than they give me.

Debra Somers Copit, MD, FACR
Section Chief, Mammography
Director, Gershon-Cohen Breast Clinic
Einstein Healthcare Network