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Dr. Bernard Fisher, Pioneer of Breast Cancer Treatment, Dies at 101 – Obituary



p. Bernard Fischer is a surgeon whose research has revolutionized the treatment of breast cancer. Prior to Fisher's clinical trials from the 1950s to the 1970s, even early stage breast cancer was usually treated with radical mastectomy, which removed the breast, lymph nodes, chest muscle and often the ribs. Fisher has proven that less invasive lumpectomy, followed by radiation, is at least as effective as radical mastectomy, and often more so. Patients tend to live longer with his treatment and their bodies have not been exhausted by radical surgery. His method eventually became the standard of treatment and his research has made more than a radical change in the treatment of breast cancer. The concept of the clinical trial was new when he began his research and his successful use of the research method helped to legitimize him in the medical community. Fisher later proved that tamoxifen could prevent breast cancer in at-risk women.

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Dies: October 16, 2019 (Who else died on October 16?)

Death details: Dies in Pittsburgh at the age of 101.


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Discontinuing the Medical Community: When Fisher first began recommending less invasive surgery for the treatment of breast cancer, his oncology colleagues did not accept his findings. In fact, they thought his research was funny and wrong. The treatment that Fisher offered seemed terribly inadequate, and his beliefs about the way cancer was spread were very different from the standard ones at the time. Many surgeons would not allow their patients to enroll in Fisher's clinical trials. But since his research shows positive results, he eventually found his way to the main stream and by 1979 his method was the best. Even when Fisher met resistance from the medical community, he found champions in the women's rights movement; his focus on women's health was unusual and appreciated. Controversy: Fisher's studies were the subject of controversy in the 1990s, when it was discovered that one of the surgeons involved in his clinical trial had provided falsified data. Fisher was accused of dragging his feet, failing to correct scientific journals before publishing his findings. The congressional hearing ultimately freed Fisher from any wrongdoing.

Remarkable quote: "I discovered how little information is related to the biology of breast cancer and what lack of interest it has in understanding the disease." [19659004] What people say about it: "Historical examples of successful shifts in medical paradigms widely accepted as consensus? Since World War II, Bernard Fisher may have been the only one to ever take him down. The protector of what evidence-based medicine should be. "- Author Gary Taubes

" He risks everything to change the medical dogma when the establishment says it's wrong. In the end, the data wins. Thank you Dr. Fisher. "- Faustman Laboratory at Massachusetts Hospital

" He was the most hated surgeon in the history of mankind; his colleagues came to the Cancer Institute and vilified him. Sometimes I wonder how he survived. What struck me was that he was a tough guy. ”- Doctor. Vincent T. Devita, Jr., Former Director of the National Cancer Institute

Complete obituary: New York Times

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