LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, October 16, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — When caught early, about 90 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will live a full life. If caught at Stage 0, then almost 100% are cured. 50 years ago, however, four out of five patients were dead within five years. There were no mammograms at that time for early detection and almost no attention had been paid to supporting patients emotionally as well as physically throughout treatment.
But that all changed slowly but surely thanks to the efforts of pioneering physicians like Dr. Elissa Santoro. A surgical oncologist since 1970, today Dr. Elissa Santoro serves as Breast Care Consultant for RWJS Barnabas Health Center. Now 80 years old, and no longer performing surgery, Dr. Santoro care for even more patients than ever while teaching the next generation of surgical oncologists all she has learned as a practicing physician.
“Medicine is really a healing art as well as a science,” says Dr. Santoro. “I had always wanted to be a healer and not just a technician because no doctor has yet cured mortality, so while we're here, our focus should be on quality of life.”
Dr. Santoro has been on the front lines as the field of cancer treatment has evolved. In fact, she has been responsible for much of that evolution, and the approach to care those who have been diagnosed can receive today. When integrative medicine was still in its infancy, Dr. Santoro pioneered a holistic integrative breast care for women, immersing patients into compete healing of mind, body and spirit.
“As the only woman surgical oncologist in New Jersey, I found there was a terrible need for a more holistic approach,” says Dr. Santoro. “I had the ability to open up a practice for breast care and treatment center where the patient could be diagnosed, operated on if needed, chemotherapy if needed, as well as treating the mind, body, and spirit. That’s what was missing. In that era being told you had breast cancer, meant you would die in five years and suffer through mutilating surgeries like radical mastectomies. I would refer them for counseling, for healing. If they had a religion, I'd get the support of their pastors or rabbis.”
And as the field has evolved, women have shown they want women to be their doctor.
“The breast is very symbolic,” says Dr. Santoro, “so it's a great field for a woman because we can better understand the psychosexual component of this diagnosis. It affects marriages, relationships.
“We've come a long, long way and there's so much on the horizon,” says Dr. Santoro. “We're learning more and more about the immune cells and identifying the patients at risk using gene testing. Maybe one day surgery will have only minor role, but it's been a big change from 1970 to 2018.”
CUTV News Radio will feature Dr. Elissa J. Santoro, MD., FACS in an interview Jim Masters on October 18th at 12pm EDT.
Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio. If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.
For more information on Dr. Elissa J. Santoro, MD., FACS, visit www.elissa-santoro1.info
Source: EIN Presswire