Breast Surgeon Gary W. Unzeitig
Encourages Screenings, Even in a Pandemic
Dr. Gary W. Unzeitig, MD, FACS
October 28, 2020
"One in eight women in their lifetime will have breast cancer," Breast Surgeon Gary W. Unzeitig, MD, FACS, reminded viewers when he spoke with Ruben Villarreal from TV station KGNS. While that statistic is alarming, he said, the news is not all bad. "One of the things that makes treating breast cancer and breast cancer patients easier than most is because the great majority of the patients survive without a recurrence for the rest of their life," Dr. Unzeitig added.
The surgeon emphasized that early detection is especially important. “If they are diagnosed by imaging and we don’t feel a lump, we're usually dealing with either Stage 0 or Stage 1 breast cancer," he said. With the right treatment, Dr. Unzeitig emphasized those stages typically have a very high cure rate. He added, however, "(If patients) wait until they feel a mass in their breast or in their lymph nodes, treatment is a lot more difficult and recurrence rates are higher. Most of those people will require chemotherapy, and with Stage 1 cancers that's very rare."
The bottom line, according to Dr. Unzeitig:
"Screening studies ... are so important.
You need to get a mammogram."
Throughout the course of this interview, the surgeon reassured patients who are worried about getting mammograms during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Patients who go for their mammograms are surprised at how safe they feel," he said. He also noted that the oncology community is fearful that they may see more advanced cancers among those who put off regular screenings because of COVID-19 fears.
Additional topics covered in this interview included new breast cancer treatments, surgical options, survival rates, and much more. Watch the full video to get more valuable insights from Dr. Unzeitig, who has been practicing medicine for more than 40 years and was the proud recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2020 Humanitarian Award.