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Topic: Who is the best breast cancer surgeon in the world?

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Sep 5, 2010 12:50PM

Sax6thAve wrote:

My sister was diagnosed Wednesday with DCIS and IDC.  The MRI on Thursday showed a "barbell" 10 cm long and they have already met with a surgeon.  The surgeon has decided to remove the entire breast and lymph nodes with a pathologist during surgery.  Surgery is scheduled for the 15th and we all want her to have the BEST surgeon/oncologist in the world.  Can anyone tell me who is well known for their knowledge and experience in this?  DESPERATE AND NEED HELP!!!

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Sep 5, 2010 12:58PM CheriD wrote:

Not sure where you are located or if distance makes any difference to you, but I highly recommend Dr. John Kiluk at Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa Fl. I am sure there are numerous qualified surgeons in diffferent parts of the country. Just make sure she is seeing a Breast Cancer Specialist and not a General sugeon.

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Sep 5, 2010 01:13PM Sax6thAve wrote:

We are in North Carolina but we do not care where they are located.  Thank you for the reply and is he known nationwide to be the best or is there a place to find the "best"?  I am new to this and wish I were not here, but I want to know she gets the best.  Money is not an issue, which I am sure it never is!  Please reply.

Thank You,


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Sep 5, 2010 01:19PM tougherthanithought wrote:

Hi!  I'm so sorry you find yourself here.  I would highly recommend Dr. Kimberly VanZee, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, NYC.  I know it is a little far for you, but I LOVED her. I had a wonderful experience with her and her staff (as wonderful as you can get when you are talking a cancer diagnosis)  You said you are looking for the "best"...not sure if there is such a place to find breast surgeon rankings, but that would be my recommendation.

Good luck to you

Sherrill Dx 4/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 5, 2010 01:23PM carol1949 wrote:

I find it interesting that with a tumor that large and lymph nodes involved they are not doing chemo first which is what I did!  It seems to be the more advanced protocol.  I was very happy with my surgeon in Jacksonville, but also know that Edith Perez at the Mayo Clinic is reportedly one of the best in the World.  That was even according to my oncologist who was not affiliated with Mayo.

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Sep 5, 2010 01:25PM Ang7 wrote:


I wanted to mention my surgeon, Costanza Cocilovo at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, DC.

I had gone to other surgeons for 2nd and 3rd opinions and she was my favorite by far.  Very honest and open about everything and she took over an hour and a half to explain things to my husband and I.

I am very pleased with my results from Georgetown.

Hugs to you both during this difficult time...

Very pleased Penguin Cold Cap user Dx 5/25/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 5, 2010 01:29PM - edited Sep 5, 2010 01:30PM by dlb823

Hi, Paul ~ So sorry about your sister's diagnosis, but I think it's great that you are trying to do some research for her on breast surgeons and oncologists.

I don't know if there's one best surgeon or oncologist, but when I was diagnosed, my sister, who has been in cancer research for many years (she administers a long-standing NCI-funded research project), begged me to go to an NCI-designated hospital, which I eventually did (UCLA).  These are the top facilities for a number of reasons.  (1)  They see the most breast cancer; (2) They are the institutions doing the research, so are up on the lastest findings; (3) The surgeons are all teaching professors,so have to keep up on the latest; (4) They attend all of the important conferences, and often present research papers they've written. (5) The equipment at these facilities is state-of-the-art.   In other words, they are dedicated to being the best. 

Here's a list of the NCI-desginated facilities:  http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/cancer_centers/map-cancer-centers.html

Your sister may find it beneficial to get more than one opinion, and I would certainly include one of more of these institutions on her list. 

Good luck, and do let her know about the information and support available here on BCO.   Deanna 

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Sep 5, 2010 01:32PM Sax6thAve wrote:

I am LOST and CONFUSED and I am also having trouble finding the "best".  As her brother, that is all I can do, technically, to help her through this.  My brother-in-law, James, has asked me to help in this area.  Thank you so much for your reply.

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Sep 5, 2010 01:33PM - edited Sep 5, 2010 01:41PM by Joy232

MD Anderson is the top cancer center.  There is a top notch breast surgeon named Eva Singletary there.  But a breast oncologist may want to do chemo first to try to shrink the tumor before surgery.

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Sep 5, 2010 01:41PM ElaineD wrote:

By the nature of the question, you are going to get many subjective answers-and one person's reasons for liking one surgeon may be of little relevance to your sister. I don't think you can quantify "best"-does this mean most succesful (ie fewest deaths)/the surgeon with whom one felt most confident, etc. It's good that you are trying to help-but the person who needs to be asking the question is your sister-alternatively,it may be that she is already happy with the surgeon she has? Your idea of "best" may be very differnt to her's. I'm based in the U.K. so cannot give any advise/input as to how you can resolve your dilemna. But just being there to support your sister will be both practical and emotionally helpful.

Dx 11/4/2007, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 5, 2010 03:18PM NancyD wrote:

There is no single "best." There are highly rated breast surgeons in every part of the US.You will find that certain ones may be rated the "best" in a particular city, but that can be due to publicity more than skill. There is no national rating system that I know of. Word of mouth recomendations, such as you are getting here, are subjective, but they're a start if you have absolutely no names.

Does your sister want immediate reconstruction? Then you will need to assemble a team of doctors--breast surgeon and plastic surgeon.The BS and PS will have to be able to work together at the time of the mastectomy. As others have said before, you should consult with as many as you can.

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/22/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/11/2008 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/5/2008 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/28/2010 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Sep 5, 2010 03:32PM lola12 wrote:

Dr. Susan Boolbol....Beth Israel, NYC. Google her and you will see why I highly recommend her. Leading edge for breast surgery and research.

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Sep 5, 2010 06:34PM - edited Sep 5, 2010 06:35PM by Abbey11

Hi.  It's great that you want to help your sister with this very difficult process.  I don't think you can identify any one "best" breast surgeon or oncologist.  There are many excellent docs and many very good cancer centers.  You have a very good one in North Carolina; it's the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC.  I believe that Elizabeth Edwards' oncologist is at this hospital and I'm sure she would have the best.  I am in Maryland and was very happy with my surgeons at Johns Hopkins, but I found the oncology department difficult to deal with.  Your sister should be sure that she finds an oncologist with whom she feels comfortable.  She will be followed by her oncologist for years; he/she is the doc that she'll have the most contact with.  Good luck to you.

Diagnosed age 44 with BL BC Sept. 08; right side 5mm, left side 1cm. BL mast. Oct. 08, expanders, exchange to silicone implants Feb 09. Taking tamoxifen. Dx 10/2/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 5, 2010 07:04PM MBJ wrote:

Hi there!  I had a similar tumor, barbell shaped and combined over 3.5 centimeters plus another, smaller one.  We did chemo first, VERY IMPORTANT SHE DOES THIS!, and then I went to what I thought was the best, at USC NORRIS CANCER HOSPITAL IN LOS ANGELES:  My Dr., Dr. Dennis Holmes, is an ONCO PLASTIC SURGEON, which is what you want with a tricky surgery like this.  He not only saved my breast, did immediate/delayed reconstruction but I also avoided having to have radiation.  Beautiful work and I have the pictures to prove it.  Los Angeles is far, but find yourself an ONCO PLASTIC who is familiar with pre-adjuvent chemo.  Best of luck to you and your family.

MBJ-Unilateral MX-METS ENTIRE LIVER, BONES Dx 2/3/2012, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 5, 2010 07:06PM MBJ wrote:

P.S.  I got three opinions first!  Very important!

MBJ-Unilateral MX-METS ENTIRE LIVER, BONES Dx 2/3/2012, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 5, 2010 07:08PM MBJ wrote:

Also, my oncologist, Dr. Peter Boasberg at the Angeles Clinic who practices at John Hopkins Santa Monica is the most amazing individual who did my chemo, and Dr. Wesely Schooler was my Plastic Surgeon at USC Norris Cancer Center--Perfect job!!! 

MBJ-Unilateral MX-METS ENTIRE LIVER, BONES Dx 2/3/2012, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 5, 2010 10:17PM carol1949 wrote:

Incidentally, breast surgery really is considered a serious but not critical surgery.  My dd worked in surgery at the Mayo Clinic and had also worked in a trauma Center ( A University Hospital).  She said one of the differences she saw in the surgeons at Mayo was that they would do a procedure in 40 minutes that may take a .dr. in the University Hospital 3-4 hours.  Not that one did necessarily a better job, just more familiar with the procedure.   She was in a highly specialized area,so not really in breast.. but is still food for thought. 

Your sister does need to feel comfortable with the person. They could be highly rated and not be the personality type that she might need.

There is also the Cancer Treatment Center of America which has a link on this site.  My friend went there and they have a whole different approach with body, mind and spirit.  Many of the larger centers are coming around to this, but still behind somewhat. 

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Sep 6, 2010 08:24PM JanetinVirginia wrote:

I'm in the same boat trying to find the best & most experienced breast surgeon and team to take over treatment from here.   I think you are safe finding the closest NAPBC accredited breast center.  That's the Nat;l Accreditation Program for Breast Centers administered by the Am. College of Surgeons.  I've been to so many websites, but I think I found it by Googling NAPBC and then you can find centers by state.   These breast centers have surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, etc who work ONLY with breast cancer patients (not like general surgeons who may do breast surgery along with other kinds of surgery).   Many conduct breast cancer research and have clinical trials.  Some major hospitals call themselves breast centers - but check the accreditation.

There are 2 accredited in the DC area- GeorgeWashingtonUniversity and Sibley's Sullivan Center.

You could never go wrong with Sloan Kettering in NY, Anderson in Texas, or Dana Farber in Boston.  Depending how the visits go with centers in my area, I may make a trip to one of those.  The only problem is long-term follow-up.  That could get old having to travel all the time.

Good luck. 

Dx 9/1/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 8, 2010 03:22PM carol1949 wrote:

Interestingly, my oncologist said it is not always best to have a "breast surgeon" as they sometimes become complacent.  She thought I was far better off with a general surgeon!  I had no problems... a great repor and would choose him all over again!  Once again, breast surgery is not the most serious surgery in the world.  Neuro.. ?  Maybe then I would be a bit more concerned.

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Sep 8, 2010 03:35PM amlg1 wrote:

Thee are many excellant BS.My surgeon was Dr. Elisa Port,at MSK,she now went over and is chief of B/S at Mt. Sinai in NY.I absolutly love her,and I feel she saved my life taking so many lymph nodes out,during surgery she didn't like the way they felt,and she sure was right.

Also as someone mentioned at MSK Dr. VanZee,has a great reputation.Google Dr. Port.very impressive.

Anna.7/22/11 mets to spinal fluid.7/1/2011 now met to brain:( Stage IV Dx 4/22/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 31/34 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 8, 2010 03:43PM mbtlcsw01 wrote:

Sax, we hear your desperation.  Take a deep breath.  Who is the BEST is subjective and obviously, we all have our biases and opinions.  Someone suggested getting a second or third opinion and with this level of anxiety, that may be good or bad.  As long as your sister has her family around her, if she is many many miles from home, that is helpful.  Take it a day at a time, be sure to help her listen as she will stop listening at some point when she is completely overwhelmed.  You will all get through this.

Mary Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 10, 2010 01:29AM Pandorrah wrote:

Dr. April Speed. She is located in Atlanta Georgia. She is one of 3 doctors in the United States that received the Susan G Komen initiative. Very knowlegeable breast surgeon. Google her.

Dx 6/29/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 15, 2010 11:39PM shadow2356 wrote:

I don't know if there is a BEST breast surgeon but there may be a best fit for your sister. Get more than one opinion. I did a lot of research and saw 4 breast surgeons. One I went with was the last one. I knew she was the one. I went to Sloan Kettering and found it to be too much like a clinic. I wanted it to be more personal. In the end I went with Dr. Karen Kostroff who is the head of breast surgery for the North Shore LIJ system in NY. I can't say enough about her and she was so supportive to me and my family. I had the best in skill, compassion and support.

I hope you find someone as awesome near you. Get more than one opinion and find a great fit.

MaryEllen, 44, Mom to Julianna, 2 years, bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP, BRCA-, 10/09/09 maryellenandjulianna.blogspot.... taxotere, carboplatin and herceptin X6, herceptin will be for a year Dx 8/14/2009, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 10/9/2009 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Targeted Therapy 12/7/2009 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 16, 2010 08:28AM - edited Oct 3, 2010 02:29PM by lago

Treatment is not about 1 surgeon but an entire team. Here is a list of the best cancer hospital in the US: http://alturl.com/xmr4h

Now in my city the top 3 hospitals are ranked 15, 27, and 47. I am being treated at #47. My breast surgeon did his fellowship at the #2 hospital. I am confident in my choice of hospital, breast surgeon, plastic surgeon and oncologist. I'm not so sure going to the #15 hospital with the more "famous" doctors would have been right for me.

Although I am going to a teaching hospital I don't feel like a petri dish, training tool or part of someone's research. I get the feeling that some of the more famous doctors spend a lot of their time on the lecture circuit, training others off-site and publishing. I want my doctor to be around and more involved with treating patients.

Here is the links to my team:

Breast Surgeon:


Plastic Surgeon:

Radiation Oncologist (haven't met yet):

Remember that the best surgeon/team for you might not be the best surgeon/team for someone else

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 3, 2010 10:29AM carol1949 wrote:

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting artical this weekend.  Sounds like chemo prior to surgery is the newer approach.  I had chemo prior to surgery to shrink the tumor.  By the time I had surgery, my cancer was dead cells.

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Oct 18, 2010 07:19AM paintedlady wrote:


You have made my day! Just happened to be scanning the discussion board and came across your comment. I was diagnosed with IDC on Sept. 15, 2010. I am seeing Dr. Kiluk on Oct 22. I traveled down to Moffitt from Alabama after receiving the diagnosis.

Shock, fear and anxiety have been my companions since the diagnosis. Your recommendation of Dr. Kiluk has eased some of my fear and anxiety. Thank you 

Dx 9/15/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 28, 2010 04:54PM tideknott wrote:

I saw Dr. Kiluk on October 27th, yesterday.  If there is a best surgeon out there he would get my vote although he hasn't done surgery yet, I am sceduled for the 17th of November. I already had had the lumpectomy done in Sarasota.  Everyone in Dr. Kiluk's team are fabulous, caring people.  He is going to do my SNB.  I trust him completely! He cares about you as much as the cancer.  Best of luck.  My fears are definetly not getting the best of me, stay positive!

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. ~C.C. Scott Oncotype DX - 18 Chemo TC X 4 started January 21st finished March 25, 2011. BMX w/TF 08/29/11 Dx 10/20/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 5, 2010 10:32PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 06:06AM by Shrek4

I know it's probably late for suggestions, but I wanted to mention Dr. William Dooley. He used to be the Director of the John Hopkins breast Institute and now he is at the OU Medical Center, the Director of the OU Breast institute. he is an Oncology surgeon specialized in breast cancer. He has a wonderful team too. The Cade Cancer center is in the same building where his office is, you do all in the same place - chemo, radiation everything. He invented a new method of "lavage" to detect earlier cancers and is working now on a new method to treat tumor with focused microwaves thermal therapy - that would make surgery to remove tumors obsolete and would allow women to keep their breasts. Read HERE and HERE.

I was really blessed to be his patient.

Here is his profile with a link to his CV.


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Nov 6, 2010 08:04PM onestep wrote:

We all can give our recommendations and then each one of us needs to research the picks and decide who is best for us. Dr. Margaret Duggan, Faulkner Breast Center, Faulkner Hospital is the best in every category if you want my vote. When I was trying to find my "best breast surgeon" her name came up in every category and from so many different people (in the cancer research field, med field, past patients, healthcare, etc., etc.) Your choice will be the right one for you. Good luck and God bless. 

Dx 6/25/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 2, 2011 09:25PM CrazyKitties wrote:

Dr. Kays in Wilmington, NC., at Wilmington Plastic Surgery. He is an artist, I am not kidding. Expect a little moodiness because of it, but seriously, he gave me the best post mx breasts you could imagine! I actually feel beautiful and sexy. He hugs, too.

Dx 4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 2, 2011 09:39PM FireKracker wrote:

I had one of the top bs in America who did everything all wrong.Please get more then one opinion.listen to the sistas and please bring a tape recorder with you.Johns Hopkins is rated #`1.in America.the last time I looked.GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS.
Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!

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