Dr. Amy Comander specializes in the care of women with breast cancer at the Mass General Cancer Center in Waltham and Newton-Wellesley. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, learn more about Amy and the life-changing work she participates in each day to support those impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Comander, MD, Director of Breast Oncology and Survivorship, Mass General Cancer Center in Waltham and Newton-Wellesley, cares for women at each step after a breast cancer diagnosis; this includes counseling, formulating a treatment plan, helping patients through treatment, and guiding them through the survivorship phase of care. Dr. Comander also cares for patients with advanced breast cancer, and she is an advocate for clinical trials, particularly in the community setting. She explained, "At our community sites, we have the opportunity to enroll patients on clinical trials. Clinical research is critical to advancing treatment for breast cancer.”
Dr. Comander notes that she is also interested in optimizing survivorship care. “At our Mass General Cancer Center sites in Waltham and at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, we have had many opportunities to help our patients address important issues they face as cancer survivors. An area I am particularly interested in is the role of lifestyle interventions in optimizing the health, well-being, and overall outcomes for individuals with breast cancer. In collaboration with my colleague Dr. Beth Frates, I have started a program called Paving the Path to Wellness for Breast Cancer Survivors. Dr. Frates and I are very excited about the program's success; thus far, this program has helped many breast cancer survivors reclaim their well-being after going through treatment."
She continued, “A diagnosis of breast cancer is life-changing for the patient and her family members, caregivers, children, and friends. It is very important to support the patient through each step of her breast cancer treatment, from diagnosis, surgery, treatment, and during survivorship phase of care. After undergoing breast cancer treatment, our patients face many challenges, including fatigue, sleep disturbance, hot flashes, joint pains, bone loss, sexual health, weight gain, body image concerns, anxiety, and fear of recurrence. Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to addressing these concerns for our patients.”
Dr. Comander started the Paving the Path to Wellness program in the Fall of 2019. Developed in collaboration with Dr Beth Frates, the program is founded on evidence-based principles from lifestyle medicine. An important goal of the program is to educate and empower breast cancer survivors on the role of lifestyle interventions, which can help women optimize health after undergoing treatment for cancer. In some cases, data suggests that some of these interventions may also improve overall outcomes from breast cancer.
Next week, we’ll share more insight from Dr. Comander, and her passion for research, innovation, and new technologies supporting breast cancer treatment.
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