Bonnie Sun, M.D.
is a board-certified and fellowship-trained breast surgeon specializing in breast cancer. We sat down with Dr. Sun
to learn more about her approach to treating breast cancer.
Tell us about your philosophy of patient care.
My focus is to get the best possible outcome for each patient. This not only involves minimizing the risk of cancer recurrence but also maximizing the quality of life. Many breast cancer patients are diagnosed early and most have very high survival rate. So, I think it is very important for each patient to have the best quality of life after treatment. In my field, this means minimizing unnecessary operations and preventing any cosmetic deformity.
How specifically do you achieve these goals?
I was fortunate enough to train with some of the surgeons who pioneered oncoplastic surgery. This is an advanced breast surgical technique that allows improved cancer resection and superior cosmetic outcomes. Ultimately, with these techniques we can achieve better patient satisfaction and quality of life. Of course, this requires specialized experience in state of the art technique, in addition to thorough cancer surgery. In my experience, the extra effort has proven to be worthwhile. There is nothing like seeing a truly happy patient after a cancer operation. I think this makes them feel less like a patient and gives them optimism.
Describe the benefits/advantage of your team-approach to providing care. Who do you collaborate with?
Breast cancer treatment involves multiple modalities across different specialties. It is important to understand and coordinate these multidisciplinary treatments in a seamless way. As a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, I was able to develop an in-depth understanding of these specialties outside of my own. Our breast cancer treatment decisions are made after a multidisciplinary conference involving experts from medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, clinical genetics, pathologists and radiologists. Each field provides critical pieces of a puzzle, which allow us to create a personalized plan for each patient. We are very proud to have excellent team of providers who are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest treatments.
Speaking of up-to-date treatments, do you refer patients to clinical trials?
We have many clinical trials available at Sibley and refer patients who may be eligible to participate. One of the many advantages of being part of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution is the opportunity for participate in ground-breaking research. Clinical trials are an important part of breast cancer research and allow our patients to receive treatments that may not be widely available and may improve on the current standard of care.
What can women do to be proactive about their breast health?
Self breast exams, clinical breast exams and annual mammograms are the most effective tools in monitoring your breast health. Additional imaging studies such as ultrasounds and MRIs may be useful in certain populations. In addition to regular breast exams and imaging, an overall healthy lifestyle is important to your breast health. Regular exercise, a low fat diet and alcohol in moderation promote better general health and decrease the risk of many disease including breast cancer.
Why should women choose Sibley for their breast health care?
I think people come to Sibley because of the quality and the reputation of the physicians. There is a long history of excellent medical care here, from our diligent clerical staff to our highly qualified nurses. Everyone puts the patient first and the warmth and compassion are of our staff are second to none. In my opinion, that’s what makes Sibley special.
I personally decided to come to Sibley because it is an opportunity to be a part of world-class academic institution in the setting of intimate hospital. As an appointed faculty member in the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, I enjoy the opportunity to teach medical students and surgical residents at the main campus. At Sibley, I am able to take care of my patients with the superb efficiency of a private hospital.
Dr. Sun accepts most insurances. To schedule an appointment, call 202-243-5230.
to read her full bio and access patient forms.