« All Blogs Oct 27, 2016
Three Important Advances in Breast Health and Cancer

by Melanie Lynch, MD, Breast Surgeon, Summa Health

CHAMPS Oncology is proud to promote breast health in collaboration with Summa Health. As we all recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a look at three important recent advances shaping breast health and breast cancer.

These three, and other, breast care advancements are so important to Summa Health’s breast experts that they meet regularly as an interdisciplinary team (surgeons, oncologists, nurses, pathologists, physical therapists, etc.) to discuss recent research articles and how they impact the information, choices and care they provide and recommend to their patients.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices - Exercise and Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Prevention through lifestyle changes is first on their list. Why? Because compelling research published in 2016 involving almost 90,000 women and 45,000 men concluded that 20-40 percent of cancer cases (all types) and about 50 percent of cancer deaths can be potentially prevented through lifestyle modifications.

That’s big news. The findings are significant because they give those looking to prevent breast cancer a way to control a certain amount of risk with everyday choices.

Top modifications include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight (with a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5), exercising at a moderate intensity (for at least 150 minutes or at a vigorous intensity for at least 75 minutes every week) and avoiding heavy alcohol consumption. The research excluded cancers shown to have strong environmental causes such as skin cancer (UV exposure).

There is also recent research showing this too applies to cancer survivors, as they can reduce the risk of recurrence through healthy lifestyles. Weight loss and exercise have also been shown to improve outcomes, and obesity has been shown to worsen outcomes.

That’s enough reason to start rethinking your lifestyle now and focus on your health through smart choices, like regular exercise, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol, not smoking and wearing sunscreen!   

On Summa Health’s part, they launched a weekly “Exercise with a Doc” program for breast cancer survivors so they can get moving and get health questions answered at the same time. They also offer nutrition instruction as part of patient care before, during and after treatment. And, they revamped their café menu in the cancer center with a focus on the nutritional needs of cancer patients.

Learn about the next important recent advance shaping breast health and breast cancer.


  1. Preventable Incidence and Mortality of Carcinoma Associated with Lifestyle Factors among White Adults in the United States, JAMA Oncol, May, 2016.
  2. Statistics supplied by SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009, National Cancer Institute
  3. Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer, J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2014 50:346-358, 2014.
  4. Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Patients with Cancer: A Cross Sectional Study at Points of Cancer Care, Medical Oncology, June, 2016.
« Previous Blog Post Cancer Risk Assessments and Preventative Options for Breast Cancer
Next Blog Post » Meet October’s Registry Rock Star: Rosie Marte, CTR