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“We don’t treat breast cancer like one size fits all, so why are we screening that way?” asks Dr. Laura Esserman. This question directs much of her cancer genetics research and as well as a trial she’s leading called the Wisdom Study.  She addresses how her career has prepared her for this work and why cancer genetics and genomics data should be used for better screening.

Listen and learn

  • How the history of breast cancer treatment and screening has lagged in data systems analysis,
  • Why a systemic approach to risk assessment is needed for such a complicated grouping of risk factors, and
  • How the Wisdom Study is working to achieve these goals and how you and your family and friends can enroll in the trial.

Dr. Laura Esserman is a cofounder of Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative and is faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, as professor of surgery and radiology. She directs UCSF’s Carol Frank Buck Breast Care Center and is a practicing surgeon and breast cancer oncologist specialist as well. She gives listeners an effective summation of how breast cancer treatments have left effective systemic data analysis and women’s voices out of the picture.

She describes the complicated risk factors and our current understanding of those risk factors through cancer genome sequencing and other technologies. Her work seeks to bring this knowledge in line to provide better screening timing and techniques.

Her own group, the Quantum Leap Healthcare Collective, addresses the needs of women at any stage of breast cancer, from a concern for risk, to a worry over a possible symptom, to a definitive diagnosis. She also is the Principal Investigator for the Wisdom Study, a project designed to achieve significant breast cancer research impact factors.

“The only way to do better is to know better,” adds Dr. Esserman, and this study seeks to do just that with a trial for, by, and about women. They currently have about 34,000 women enrolled but want to triple that number. They’re seeking women between 40 and 74 to take part at wisdomstudy.org. Listen in to find out more about this study and what it hopes to accomplish.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

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