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Ironwood Breast Surgeon Dr. Patricia Clark Co-Authors Journal of Clinical Oncology Article Underdiagnosis of Hereditary Breast Cancer

On December 7, 2018, an article I co-authored was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology regarding need to re-examine the national guidelines for who should be tested for genetic predisposition to develop breast or ovarian cancer.  We used an 80 gene panel to test over 1,000 patients with breast cancer, half who met NCCN Guidelines recommending genetic testing and half who didn’t. We found no difference in the rate of mutations between the group who met the guidelines and those who didn’t.  As a result of this study results, I decided to abandon the national guidelines.

A decade ago, genetic testing for just the BRCA gene could cost over $3,000. Next-generation sequencing and other advancements made panel testing more accessible to the public.  Insurers will cover the cost when guideline criteria are met. Even when a patient’s insurance doesn’t cover the testing, the gene panels are $250 or less.  Genetic testing for predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer are within reach for most patients and are even available over the Internet.

I now offer genetic testing to all of my breast cancer patients and any patient that requests it regardless of the guidelines.  I believe it is important physicians or genetic counselors stay involved in the genetic testing process to ensure patients receive appropriate counseling and follow-up of results with management recommendations. Testing provides peace of mind and gives us the opportunity to either prevent the cancer or to detect at an early stage through appropriate surveillance when the opportunity for cure is highest. It also identifies family members who do not carry the pathological mutations and whose risks are no higher than the general public despite their family history.

Thank you,

Breast and Oncoplastic Surgery

Ironwood Women’s Centers


Full Article in Text

Full Article in PDF

To learn more about Dr. Clark click here.

Do I need Chemotherapy for my Breast Cancer?

There has been a great deal of discussion about the use of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. The decision to have chemotherapy depends on the type of breast cancer you have. Learn more about chemotherapy in breast cancer with Dr. Patricia Clark’s video.  To make an appointment with Dr. Clark at the Ironwood Women’s Center in Scottsdale call 480-324-5252 or visit

Breast Cancer Research Talk with Pfizer & Dr. Kalmadi

Pfizer Inc Cordially Invites You to Attend An Informational Program Understanding a Treatment Option for Women With HR+/HER2- Metastatic Breast Cancer

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Flat and Fabulous Breast Cancer Surgery with Dr. Patricia Clark

In the September 2018 Cosmopolitan, Dr. Clark is quoted in the article “These Cancer Patients Wanted to Get Rid of Their Breasts for Good. Their Doctors Had Other Ideas.”  Read the entire article here.  Read more about Dr. Clark here or call 480-324-5252 for more information.


DiepCFoundation Interview of Dr. Patricia Clark

DiepCFoundation  interviewed Dr. Patricia Clark from Ironwood Cancer & Research Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Clark explains that oncoloplastic surgery is generally referred to as reconstruction of lumpectomy defects. She states that all breast cancer patients should be evaluated from an oncoplastic standpoint. Rearrangement of local tissue can add volume back to the breast with existing tissue to prevent deformities that can happen after traditional lumpectomies. This procedure can also be a consideration for men with male breast cancer. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization providing education and resources to empower women and men with information to make an informed decision about options for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.