Chic Spotlight: Breast Specialist Dr. Jennifer Manders PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 04:57

Chic Spotlight: Breast Specialist Dr. Jennifer Manders
Breast cancer awareness has spread like wildfire, but one local breast surgeon shares how she got into the field, and what keeps her passionate about her patients.

Cincy Chic: You brought oncoplastic surgery to the Tri-State, but how did you first decide to become a surgeon, particularly one who specializes in breast cancer?


Dr. Jennifer Manders, co-founder of Cincinnati Onco-Plastic Surgery and medical director of the Oncoplastic Surgery Program at The Christ Hospital: As a medical student, my first clinical rotation was surgery, and I immediately loved it. During my surgical residency, I spent time with many different surgical subspecialists.


I really enjoyed the multidisciplinary approach to patient care that surgical oncology offered, and so I began to look for an area of specialty that was a good fit for me. As a breast cancer surgeon, I have the opportunity to develop life-long relationships with my patients.


Cincy Chic: Oncoplastic surgery streamlines the process for breast cancer patients by combining the breast and reconstructive surgeries into one. Why is this so important to your patients?


Manders: After a new diagnosis of breast cancer, women are often overwhelmed with anxiety. The significant changes that are about to occur physically and emotionally are scary for many women. By offering immediate reconstruction after mastectomy, some of the shock of losing a breast can be alleviated. And for women who are able to undergo a lumpectomy (removing the cancer and obtaining negative margins, while leaving the breast intact), it's great to utilize some reconstructive techniques to improve the overall appearance of the affected breast.


Cincy Chic: You frequently work with traditionally younger breast cancer patients, and you even started a monthly support group for them. Tell Cincy Chic readers a little more about this group.


Manders: This group was formed several years ago, in order to bring together young women with breast cancer. At first, it began as a series of phone calls in order for my patients to talk to other young women who were experiencing the same things: breast cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, young children at home, sexual function, etc.


It quickly morphed into getting together every other month, with a different theme or speaker at each session. We focused on exercise, healthy cooking, meditation, and journaling. The group met at various locations, but the majority of the meetings were at The Wellness Community in Blue Ash.


As my practice grew, I wanted to offer something special to all of my patients. So now, I have an annual "survivor's party" in honor of these women to celebrate their strength.


riversbend_instory.GIF Cincy Chic: With the surge of awareness through pink ribbons and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast cancer education seems more wide-spread than ever, but what might Cincy Chic readers not know that they should?


Manders: Many significant advances have been made in the treatment of breast cancer. Our understanding of the biology of the disease continues to improve, and we have begun to incorporate genomic information about individual tumors into the treatment recommendations for women. This information can help predict the likelihood of recurrence of the disease elsewhere in the body in 10 years and affect the decision-making regarding the use of chemotherapy.


Another great example of the advances made include the use of partial breast radiation therapy. This is a viable option for many women, and thus far has been shown to be equivalent to whole breast radiation therapy in terms of reducing the risk of local recurrence after a lumpectomy. We are learning more about the risk factors for developing breast cancer and how to reduce those risks.


I think the most important decision a woman can make about her own health is to quit smoking, which will not only decrease her risk of breast cancer, but will improve her chances of preventing other diseases, as well.


Cincy Chic: When you aren't working, how do you like to relax and have fun?


Manders: We have three kids, who keep us very busy! It's great to spend time together as a family. Right now we are just enjoying watching them grow and discover the world. We love to take long walks, go to the farmers' market every weekend.


I really enjoy spending time with our friends, and we occasionally sneak out to see a movie. But when I get a few minutes alone, I love to read.


Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?


Manders: Cincinnati has a lot of the wonderful attributes of a big city, but it's so easily accessible and affordable. We love the Ballet.


My most favorite thing about Cincinnati is the street on which we live. It's a tight-knit group of great people that gets together on a pretty regular basis. We have holiday parties, chili cook-offs, backyard BBQs and dinners at fab restaurants. We really enjoy being here.


Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Dr. Jennifer Manders
Location: Lofts@4120

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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