Breast Cancer Oncologists & Surgeons

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Breast surgeon - Dr. Jon Greif

Oct 2007

My mammogram this time shows a cluster of microcalcifications and the radiologist recommended a biopsy (I'm 46 with no history of breast problems). I'm looking for a breast specialist who can look at the images and tell me if it's really necessary. I've been referred to Dr. Jon Greif in Berkeley (actually his partner Lisa Bailey, but she doesn't have openings for 6-7 weeks). Any feedback on him or other breast surgeons, or having been in this situation? Apparently it's relatively common and 80 percent of the time the microcalcifications are benign. Input welcome. microcalcified

I LOVE Dr. Greif. He is highly skilled and experienced, and also so personable and sensitive. He is farely new to the Bay Area, but is quite famous down in San Diego where he lived up until recently. He has won many awards and is highly regarded. I never felt rushed by him. He answered all of my and my family's questions. He was available by email and would email me my medical records/consultations with him. I cannot say enough good things about him. You will be in good hands-literally and figuratively. Feel free to call me off line if you have further questions and good luck to you.

Oncologist at Kaiser for breast cancer

April 2007

My newly diagnosed friend needs recommendations of specialists (preferably female) who help treat breast cancer at KAISER Vallejo, Walnut Creek, or Oakland. Thanks.

I was treated for breast cancer in 2004. I can highly recommend my oncologist at Kaiser Walnut Creek, Lisbeth Suyehira. She was responsive and flexible and considered one of the best by other doctors. However she will be retiring within the next 2 years so perhaps is not the best choice for the long term.

Two surgeons at Oakland Kaiser were also highly recommended to me: Veronica Shim and Kelly _____ (I can't remember her last name). I chose another surgeon who had treated me previously, Richard Godfrey (now at Kaiser Hayward) when he was chief surgeon at Oakland. For breast reconstruction, I was very pleased with the results of the surgery by Karla Werninghaus at Kaiser Hayward (510-784-4070). anon.

1) Go with your friend to the Women's Cancer Resource Center on Telegraph Avenue. They have binders full of forms that women have filled out with reviews of doctors/hospitals. They will also be able to give your friends the names/numbers of other women who have had similar surgeries, and are willing to talk to someone who is going through it. They also have interns who will look up various forms of treatments and send you copies of articles from medical journals evaluating the treatments (very expensive to do on your own because you have to pay for each article.)

2) Encourage your friend to join a support group. The emotional support is helpful, and you can also get an idea of the best places to have treatment with a particular form of cancer. It is worth travelling to work with the best medical teams (depending on how contained the cancer is.)

3) If you are a primary support person for your friend, consider joining a support group for yourself. There are some where the person with cancer/illness goes to one meeting, and their caregiver goes to another that are scheduled at the same time. WCRC has information on this as well. anon

Breast Specialist - Drs. Jenkins, Bailey, Fowler?

April 2006

I'm looking for a recommendation for a breast specialist. My Ob/Gyn's office gave me three names: Charles Jenkins, Lisa Bailey and Robert Fowler. Does anyone have any experience with any of these physicians? Does anyone recommend them, and if so, why? What were they like to work with? I often turn to alternative medicine for much of my health care, but need to have something checked out. Ideally, I'm looking for someone I can work with, and who would be open to working with me and my osteopath. Thank You. In Health!

Hi, I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Bailey and her staff . She is professional and respectful and her staff has always been the same. She has always spent time with me to answer any questions and make sure that I understood what I was facing. Dr. Bailey's surgical skill was such that a few months later my doctor couldn't tell at first that I had even had surgery. All of the doctors I have told that she was treating me have expressed a great respect for her. I'm unsure of her acceptance of natural healing, but only because I haven't asked. However, personality-wise, I feel that she would be open to working with you in whatever path you choose to take, but she will be honest about her medical opinion of the situation. Best of luck to you. Erin

My mother died of breast cancer at the age of 44, so checking my breasts for lumps has always been a loaded experience for me and I decided ten years ago to have my breasts checked every four months by a medical professional. I went to see Dr. Lisa Bailey for several years for this procedure until my health insurance coverage changed. She is absolutely wonderful... warm, compassionate and professional. I highly recommend her. Lisa

Re: Drs. Jenkins and Bailey. Three years ago, I was faced with breast cancer surgery. I saw Dr. Jenkins (part of my health plan), but saw Dr. Bailey twice: for a second surgical opinion, and as the presiding doctor at UCSF when I received the results of genetic counseling and testing. I found Dr. Jenkins calm but from a totally different era in breast cancer treatment. When I told him that I preferred to have a plastic surgeon in the OR with him to perform a TRAM flap reconstruction immediately after he completed the mastectomy, he was put off by the suggestion. However, he did give in gracefully and my two surgeries were a success. He also was a regular visitor when I ended up in the hospital with a staph infection not long after surgery, and was very concerned and helpful. As for Dr. Bailey, I found her calm, reassuring, and very upfront with me at the second opinion. She was just wonderful the day I arrived at UCSF, nervous and frightened, to find out my genetic testing results. Dr. Bailey also came highly recommended to me by a neighbor who heads up a statewide breast cancer research institute (and who I trust). thankful for several options

My mother had breast cancer a few years ago (is fine now!) and saw Lisa Bailey-she was great. Approachable, caring, and a great surgeon. That she is a woman is another plus!

I saw Dr. Lisa Bailey two years ago for a breast lump that - thankfully - after a lot of testing turned out to be benign. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to give Dr. Bailey a glowing review. She is professional yet warm, and exudes an air of calm reassurance which was most welcome in a very confusing situation. I had been hearing conflicting things from my OBGYN vs. the radiologist who examined my lump and I didn't know what to believe. Turning to the internet was even worse! Once I walked into Dr. Bailey's office & met her, I just knew it was in her hands and she absolutely knew what she was talking about. I hope I never need to see a breast specialist again, but if I did, I am glad to know a really good one. relieved

Dr. Lisa Bailey, Breast Surgeon/East Bay

April 2006

I have just be diagnosed with breast cancer and I was wondering if anyone has any experience/information with/about Dr. Lisa Bailey and her staff? anon

Hi there- my partner was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 years ago- we met with several surgeons and chose to work with Dr Lisa Bailey. We appreciated her professionalism AND her frankness and honesty. She alsowas at the top of her field with the latest treatments and at that time, the sentinal node biopsy. We even chose to go outside of our insurance to work with her. We also met Dr. Catherine Forest who we really liked too- she was working with Dr Bailey to do the Sentinal Node Bipsy also. Hope this helps- GOOD LUCK!!! dm

Hi, I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Bailey and her staff. She removed a fiborous cyst for me four years ago and I am currently seeing her now for another (hopefully benign) lump. She is professional and respectful and her staff has always been the same. She has always spent time with me to answer any questions and make sure that I understood what I was facing. I had my surgery at the Summit out-patient clinic and was 100% satisfied with my treatment there. Dr. Bailey's surgical skill was such that a few months later my doctor couldn't tell at first that I had even had surgery.

In addition, my perinatologist said that Alta Bates was basically building a breast cancer center for Dr. Bailey. I don't know how much to trust him (but that's another topic), but he had a great respect for her as have all of the other doctors I have told that she was treating me. Best of luck to you. Erin

I have not been a patient of Dr. Bailey, I worked with her when I worked at the American Cancer Society. I have also worked with some of her patients and peers. Her reputation is outstanding as a surgeon and as someone who is truly committed to breast health & always up to date on the issues and treatments. anon

Hi, I was a patient of Lisa Bailey's a few years ago. I had a non-cancerous tumor, and after a needle biopsy and several other tests, it was decided that it needed to be removed since it was growing in size. I was 22 years old, and absolutely terrified. Dr Bailey and her office staff were fantastic. Every person I came in contact with was warm and personable, friendly and reassuring. The nurses were great. Dr Bailey herself was direct, clear, and answered every question I had without making me feel rushed. After the surgery, there were a few complications, and she saw me immediately, and changed my medication to a better one. I am 25 now, and the scar is barely visible, even to me. I would highly recommend Dr Bailey! np

I am so sorry to hear of your breast cancer diagnosis. Three years ago I underwent a complex, multi-layered, breast cancer diagnosis process. A neighbor, who is a breast cancer specialist, got Dr. Bailey on the phone to give me advice on how I could be proactive in this process. She asked about my family history of cancer, what I had read about different diagnoses and conventional treatment options, how I felt about surgery, etc. Because of a strong familial predisposition to breast cancer, she immediately referred me to the Breast Cancer Center at UCSF for genetic counseling and testing, as the results would indicate whether I needed to consider more radical surgery. She was the presiding physician on the day I received my results, and was very helpful, calm, and reassuring. She fit me in for a second opinion right after my genetic results came in and I brought all of my imaging results for her to look at. She had already done so by the time I saw her. She precisely laid out my surgical options, and likely post-surgical treatments, given the appropriate surgery. In the end, I went with another surgeon within my medical plan, but I felt more confident having seen her as a part of my diagnostic process. I felt that she covered many areas which my breast surgeon had not even considered. I wish you the best. nearly 3 years and counting

Oncologist for breast cancer biopsy 2nd opinion

June 2005

Would you kindly recommend an oncologist that could give a 2nd opinion about a breast tissue biopsy? And also a place for treatment? Thank you in advance for your help. Susan

Dr. Lisa Bailey, a breast surgeon at Alta bates Summit is amazing - always up to date on information, issues and truly a nice, caring person. Their cancer center is great as is UCSF - Laura Esserman is excellent as well. I would HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of the American Cancer Society's Reach to Recovery program (should you need it). They are breast cancer survivors who have been trained to help women navigate everything from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. The program is free and in my opinion, the best way to get unbiased information, support and have someone help ask the right questions at the doctor. ACS phone number is 1800-ACS-2345. Just say you would like to be put in touch with a Reach to Recovery volunteer.Also Womens Cancer Resource Center is EXCELLENT source of info - Anon

I don't know if this is going to be helpful or not. I just had a breast biopsy done at Summit Hospital. The MD was Dr. Ira Kanter who was wonderful. Very kind, gentle manner. Later found out he does my regular doctor's mammograms, so he's a doctor's doctor. I know he's a radiologist I don't know if he's an oncologist and could give you a second opinion or not, but definitely worth a call. 869-8800. I also spoke with his partner Dr. Keene who was also very nice on the phone. I wish you the best. anon

Oncologist for 32-year-old with breast cancer

Sept 2003

On behalf of our nanny's neice, a 32 year old with advanced breast cancer, I'm looking for recommendations for a top breast cancer oncologist for a second opinion. She has already received a diagnosis and some treatement at Alta Bates. Thanks.

A friend's Dr. was Laura Esserman, M.D., Director of the UCSF Breast Care Center. She is very highly regarded in her field. Sending Hope

Lisa Bailey is one of the best breast cancer surgeons in the Bay Area. anon

This is tough compared to finding surgeons as there are plenty of good surgeons in the Bay area. Here are three I visited & came highly recommended: Hope Rugo or any of the oncologists associated with UCSF Mt Zion Breast Care Center, Norm Cohen at alta Bates is also very knowledgeableor San Francisco Oncology Group - Dr. alan Newman. Also Bob Carlson at Stanford but probably too far if you're in the East Bay. Good luck! anonymous