Mercy’s Dr. Neil B. Friedman, Director, The Hoffberger Breast Center, Discusses Treatment Options For Stage Zero Breast Cancer

October 28, 2015
Dr. Neil Friedman - Breast Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Women diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer have a wide range of treatment options: treat it, have a mastectomy or do nothing.

Doctors say such choices can be very confusing for patients.

Phyillis Bloom can understand that all too well.

The 78-year-old was recently diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer. After consulting with her physician, Dr. Neil B. Friedman, Director, The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy, Bloom opted for a lumpectomy. Dr. Friedman also offered her the option of radiation, which Bloom declined.

Not long after the lumpectomy, Bloom was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer again.

"Right next to where I had surgery," she said.

Still, Dr. Friedman explained that Bloom's prognosis is good; the long-term side effect of stage 0 breast cancer is 98 to 100 percent.

"So, long-term survival, whether you have a lumpectomy, lumpectomy plus radiation or a mastectomy, is the same," Dr. Friedman said. "The difficult part is figuring out who should be in what category."

The second time around, Bloom once again chose a lumpectomy. Whether she will follow that with radiation depends largely on a test called oncotype dx.

"What it does is it qualifies the potential risk for re-occurrence of the breast cancer within the next 10 years," Dr. Friedman said.

When that test comes back for Bloom, she may then decide to have radiation as well. In the meantime, she offers advice to other women: "By all means get your mammogram regularly. To catch it early is the best thing you can do."

View Dr. Neil B. Friedman’s interview regarding Stage Zero breast cancer.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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