Breast Cancer,  Breast Cancer Surgery,  Breast cancer treatment,  Breast Health,  Reconstruction,  Women's Health

Breast Cancer and Cancer Doctors I Follow, Respect and Admire

The breast cancer journey is complicated and emotionally fraught. It thrusts you into a new and terrifying world you never considered, let alone thought would happen to you. This is completely foreign territory — including the terminology your doctors are using. It’s hard to think and process what you are being told, let alone feel confident and well-equipped to make sound decisions. However, there are some breast cancer and cancer doctors I follow who can help guide you.

In my circumstance, in just three months, I was told I had cancer by my family doctor, had a biopsy and surgical consult, underwent an MRI to map the location of my three tumours, and had a double mastectomy surgery opting to have a form of chest wall reconstruction called aesthetic flat closure. There was a heck of a lot of learning and research that I had to go through during that time to ask the appropriate questions and determine the right course of action for me. After my surgery, there was chemotherapy and radiation. And after that, drug therapies and follow-up risk reduction treatments. At every stage, more research, more questions, and more knowledge required.

It is very easy at every step to go down rabbit holes. Whether it is a Google search, a conversation with a friend or experiences shared in a Facebook group. 

So much information to gather. So much misinformation out there. Doctors who sometimes do a poor job of answering questions. Friends and family members who weigh in with opinions. Social media influencers who claim this and that. It’s hard to know who to trust or what information is good. 

Here are some experts that I follow whom I trust and turn to for quality information and guidance. 

Dr. Ify McErlie MD

Dr. Ify McErlie is a Canadian radiologist and specialist in breast imaging, and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. Via her Instagram and TikTok accounts, Dr. Ify empowers women with information on the topic of breast screening and breast cancer risk management. A woman of proud Nigerian heritage, Dr. Ify is also an active proponent of earlier screening for black women and women of race. 

Dr. Robyn Roth MD

Dr. Robyn Roth is a US-based radiologist, specialist in breast screening, cancer advocate, educator, and Women’s Imaging Fellowship Director. She is also the host of the Girlfriend’s Guide to Breast Health, Breast Cancer and Beyond. Dr. Robyn is a high-energy, outspoken, energetic advocate for women’s health and has been featured on PBS and Katie Couric. 

Dr. Toni Zhong

Dr. Toni Zhong, M.D. MHS is a Plastic Surgeon and the Belinda Stronach Chair of Breast Reconstruction at, UHN, Toronto. She is a graduate, UWO Medicine, Harvard University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. She has been treating women with breast cancer for the last 15 years at UHN, and speaks to topics including breast health and breast reconstruction. I interviewed Dr. Zhong for a recent article I wrote for Chatelaine Magazine outlining the reasons I opted to remain flat after my mastectomy

Dr. Ron Israel

Ron Israeli, M.D. is a nationally recognized expert in breast reconstruction and a founding partner of NYBRA Plastic Surgery. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has been in practice since 1997.

Dr. Israeli provides an individualized approach for every patient, offering the full range of breast reconstruction options, including aesthetic flat closure. He is among the first surgeons in the New York region to regularly perform microvascular free flap breast reconstruction. He is also a leader in direct-to-implant reconstruction, and is among an early group of surgeons to routinely perform prepectoral implant breast reconstruction. Dr. Israeli has a special interest in revision surgery for unsatisfactory breast reconstruction outcomes. He routinely performs total capsulectomy for symptomatic implant capsules, subpectoral to prepectoral implant conversion for animation deformities, and natural-tissue flaps for the salvage of failed implant breast reconstructions. Dr. Israeli’s practice also focuses on breast reduction surgery and body contouring after weight loss.

Dr. Israeli has been named by U.S. News & World Report among the top plastic surgeons in the nation, and has been on Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor Listing for the New York Metro Area for over a decade. For his leadership in post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, Dr. Israeli was honored by the American Cancer Society with their 2007 Physician of Distinction Award.

As an amateur artist and a lover of artistic talent I will also add that Dr Israel is a very talented portraitist. 

Dr. Elizabeth Comen

Dr. Elizabeth Comen, M.D., has dedicated her medical career to saving the lives of women. An award-winning, internationally sought-after clinician and physician-scientist, Dr. Comen is a Medical Oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. She earned her BA in the History of Science from Harvard College and her MD from Harvard Medical School, then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and her fellowship in oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Recognized for her compassion and easy-to-comprehend communication with patients, Dr. Comen is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Department of Defense Breakthrough Award for Breast Cancer, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award, and multiple grants from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, among others. Her research has been published in prestigious scientific journals, includingNature, Cancer Cell, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The Journal of National Cancer Institute. Chosen as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor in New York since 2017, she has also been featured as a New York MagazineTop Doctor multiple years in a row.

Dr. Comen has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, ABC News, NY1, Wall Street Journal online, Fox News, and other news and print outlets, such as The New York Times,, Ellemagazine, and Self magazine. A tireless advocate for women’s healthcare, she has mentored many students throughout their academic and medical careers with the goal to empower patients with the tools they need not just to survive, but thrive.

Dr. Comen’s book All In Her Head: The Truth and Lies Early Medicine Taught Us About Women’s Bodies and Why It Matters Today is one of the best, and most infuriating reads out there today, and has caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Jill Biden, and CNN’s Sarah Sidner. I highly recommend it as a must-read for all women and anyone who knows a woman. 

Dr. Elisabeth Potter

Dr. Potter is compassionate, kind and an incredibly passionate surgeon. She is the kind of clinician ever woman going through breast cancer deserves.  Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Elisabeth Potter completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University with a focus in Molecular Biology. She received her medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Following a Plastic Surgery Integrated Residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, she completed a Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Microsurgery Fellowship with MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. Dr. Potter specializes in natural breast reconstruction and has performed over 1,000 DIEP flap surgeries using patients’ natural fat and tissue.

Dr. Potter formerly worked in the private sector as a regulatory analyst of FDA law. She possesses a uniquely informed view regarding the safety and efficacy of breast implants. Because of her expertise in natural breast reconstruction, she continues to monitor the recent research developments regarding the increase in BIA-ALCL diagnosed patient cases. In addition to traditional breast implants, Dr. Potter provides patients with safe, effective natural breast reconstruction alternatives and is a supporter of aesthetic flat closure as a reconstruction option. 

Dr. Siba Haykal

I had the pleasure of meeting D. Haykal and hearing her speak last year at Women’s College Hospital’s annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. She is a Board certified plastic surgeon and now the inaugural section chief of reconstructive oncology at Yale Medical School specializing in microsurgery for breast and lymphedema.

Dr. Amanda Savage Brown

Amanda Savage Brown is a psychotherapist, self-acceptance counsellor and coach, author of the book Busting Free, and Founder of Busting Free Health Coaching helping women Move through mastectomy, aesthetic flat closure, or explant with awareness of and liberation from society’s “rules” about women and breasts. This is a topic close to my heart and one I have written about here on the blog. 

Dr. Geeta Nayyar

I was recently introduced to Dr. Geeta Nayyar, MD, MBA, by the editor of the Patient Experience Journal. She is a globally recognized healthcare technology leader steering the industry toward a new era. The former chief medical officer of Salesforce and AT&T and a consultant to the industry’s most influential organizations, Dr. G leverages new innovations, including artificial intelligence (AI), to achieve previously unimaginable health and business outcomes. She serves on the board of the American Telemedicine Association. 

Dr. G is the author of the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Dead Wrong: Diagnosing and Treating Healthcare’s Misinformation Illness, a post-pandemic look at the rise of medical misinformation in the digital age. In the book, she shows how healthcare organizations can apply emerging technologies to improve health literacy and advance strategic business goals.

Dr. G is a widely sought-after thought leader who has spoken at hundreds of events and appeared on media outlets such as CNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, PBS, and Yahoo! Finance.

Dr. Eleonora Teplinsky

I appreciate the sound, matter-of-fact, practical, evidence-based advice Dr. Eleonora Teplinsky shares on her Instagram feed. Sheis a board-certified medical oncologist, specializing in treating women with breast and gynecologic cancers. She also focuses on cancer risk reduction and healthy living. Dr. Teplinsky practices at Valley Health System in Paramus, NJ and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As the host of the INTERLUDE Podcast: Women’s Cancer Stories with Dr. Teplinsky she shares the stories of women who have been affected with cancer as a way to provide support, inspiration, encouragement, hope and strength to other women who are also going through similar experiences. I also speak to experts who care for people with cancer. Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer in some way. These conversations are one way to create an understanding of the cancer experience.

Dr. Krystle Zuniga

There is so much quackery out there related to cancer and nutrition. It is easy to get confused and to know who is providing good information and who is pushing false information trying to sell you supplements. Dr. Krystle Zuniga is my trusted go-to for cancer-related nutrition that is evidence-based, accurate and agenda-free. Krystle has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition with over 14 years of experience in nutrition and cancer, including research, higher education, and clinical practice. In her practice, she saw there was a critical gap in nutrition support for cancer survivors both during and after cancer treatment. Finding quality nutrition information is increasingly difficult with the rise of misinformation and disinformation. Rather than stand back and watch the problem worsen, Dr. Krystle set out to combat misinformation, by sharing the latest research in nutrition and cancer, and translate the science into everyday actions survivors can take to support their health and quality of life with nutrition.

Dr. Susan Love

The late Dr. Susan Love was a breast surgeon and advocate for breast health. Her book, Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book is considered to be the “bible” of breast cancer. 

An early outspoken critic of medicine’s paternalistic attitude in the treatment of breast cancer, Dr. Love argued against the conventional procedure of radical mastectomy and questioned what she called the “slash, burn, and poison” approach—surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy—and advocated instead for breast-conserving treatment and for patient empowerment.

Now in its sixth edition, Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book has been translated into German, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Hebrew. An updated seventh edition is slated for publication this fall.

Ellyn Winters-Robinson is a breast cancer survivor, entrepreneur, author, in-demand speaker, women’s health advocate, professional communicator and a globally recognized health rebel. Ellyn's best-selling book "Flat Please Hold the Shame," is a girlfriend’s companion guide for those on the breast cancer journey. She is also the co-creator of, the world’s first conversational AI companion for those on the breast cancer journey. With Dense Breasts Canada and award-winning photographer Hilary Gauld, Ellyn also co-produced I WANT YOU TO KNOW, a celebrated photo essay showing the diverse faces and stories of 31 individuals on the breast cancer journey. Ellyn’s story and have been featured in People Magazine, Chatelaine Magazine, the Globe and Mail, CTV National News and Your Morning, and Fast Company.

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