What About the Other Breast?

October 13, 2016

To join in on Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), Sips of Science has planned a very interesting talk on the topic of contralateral breast cancer – cancer that appears in the healthy breast and the most common secondary cancer found in women with primary breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Our guest speaker is Marzana Chowdhury, a doctoral student in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who works under the guidance of Dr. Pankaj Choudhary and Dr. Swati Biswas.

Marzana and her team have analyzed two datasets, one from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) and the second from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, to develop a model that will predict the possibility of a woman developing contralateral breast cancer.


After a woman is diagnosed with cancer in one breast, the probability of her developing cancer in the healthy breast is low, but the risk is there and so is the uncertainty. Many women consider removing the healthy breast to eliminate the likelihood of secondary breast cancer, but this surgery has risks and side effects that impact the patient’s physical and psychological health.

The model, developed by Marzana and her team of UT Dallas researchers, will guide surgeons and women to make the best decision on whether to keep or remove the unaffected breast.

Very interesting topic, right? I don’t want to give away too many details about Marzana’s presentation because you need to come and hear it for yourself. After all, she is the expert.

Marzana received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Applied Statistics from the University of Dhaka. When deciding where to pursue her doctoral degree, Marzana looked to UT Dallas because of its high research profile and life-changing research projects. When she was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Choudhary in the current project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Marzana immediately accepted because she would be able to mesh her knowledge in statistics with her passion to impact the lives of others.

The flourishing growth of the campus and the hospitality of its faculty and staff also influenced her decision to become a Comet.

sipsofscienceIn her spare time, Marzana enjoys listening to music and is an avid movie watcher. After obtaining her doctoral degree, she hopes to continue her career advancing research in the health industry.

Join us on Wednesday, October 19th for this exciting Sips of Science presentation. You can enjoy some delicious coffee and food from Coffee House Café while learning about Marzana’s endeavors to combat contralateral breast cancer. It all starts at 7 pm.


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