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Dr. Lee Schwartzberg Honored With 2023 Legends in Cancer Award

January 23, 2023

Dr. Schwartzberg

Recognized as one of the world’s leading breast cancer experts as a 2023 Legends in Cancer Honoree

Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, FACP, Section Chief of Medical Oncology at the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute at Renown, was honored as the 2023 Legends in Cancer honoree at this year's Best of Breast conference for his contributions to the field of breast cancer. The conference took place on Jan. 21 and 22.

Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer and about 1 in 36 women will die from breast cancer. Breast cancer is associated with increased age, hereditary factors, obesity, and alcohol use. Since 1990, breast cancer death rates across the country, and here in Washoe County have declined progressively due to advancements in treatment, detection, and care. Each year in the United States, about 264,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,400 in men. Here in Washoe County, more than 21 deaths per 100,000 females are due to breast cancer, a significant decrease since 2012 when 24 deaths per 100,000 females were reported.

Dr. Schwartzberg was selected for this award based on his unique and vast contributions to advancing science and patient care, including his major research interests such as therapeutic approaches to breast cancer, targeted therapies, and supportive care.

The selection committee evaluates each candidates’ body of work — including contributions to the field of breast cancer in clinical research, patient care, mentoring and community service — before deciding on an honoree.

“Dr. Schwartzberg is deserving of this honor. As a national expert in the study and treatment of breast cancer, precision medicine and supportive care, Dr. Schwartzberg is transforming cancer care and improving the lives of all of us in northern Nevada. As the most preferred cancer program in the region, we are working with the support of donors like The William N. Pennington Foundation to recruit additional oncology specialists and cancer science researchers to become the first National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer care center in Nevada," said Dr. Brian Erling, MBA, CEO of Renown Health. “The incredible care that comes from the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute is possible because of nationally recognized oncologists like Dr. Schwartzberg.”

“Dr. Schwartzberg completed fellowship training in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident and was a founding member of the institutional ethics committee,” add Paul J. Hauptman, MD, dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and chief academic officer for Renown Health. “We are proud that he serves as a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. His research interests include supportive care, precision medicine and patient-reported outcomes in breast cancer and he has published over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and monographs.”

“It is an honor to work with Dr. Schwartzberg and his patients have the most incredible things to say about the care he provides.” said Dr. Max J Coppes, PhD, MBA, Director, William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, Renown Health. “He understands that his patients are going through one of the most challenging times in their lives. Dr. Schwartzberg brings decades of experience to our community, is a great listener, and treats everyone with compassion and dignity. We are so proud to have him at Renown.”

The Best of Breast Conference is an innovative medical education program that gathers the world's leading breast cancer experts to discuss cases with high-risk characteristics, adjuvant and metastatic treatment advances, interdisciplinary care and survivorship and recurrence — all while incorporating data from the major oncologic annual meetings.

Dr. Schwartzberg has been selected to chair Total Health’s spring oncology education retreat in Lake Tahoe on April 15 and 16. The event’s comprehensive agenda will allow attendees to engage with the latest research and strategies in cancer care while networking with colleagues from across the country in a peaceful setting. Additional conference information is available here.

For women, breast exams using mammography after 40 years old is recommended. For those age 75 and older, a mammogram is recommended every year. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Both 3-D digital mammography and whole breast ultrasounds are available at the Greenberg Breast Health Center at Renown and other locations across northern Nevada. The Affordable Care Act makes breast cancer screening and counseling free. All health plans must cover these benefits at no cost to you. Renown MyChart app users can self-schedule a mammogram appointment. To call to schedule, dial 775-982-8100.

At the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute at Renown Health, patients receive innovative, personalized treatment to fight cancer while an experienced team provides the support and technology to maintain the highest quality of life. The Renown team’s clinical expertise and advanced treatment options blend evidence-based care with leading-edge research to improve cancer outcomes for every patient and family. For more information or a referral, visit renown.org/cancer.

About Renown Health

Renown Health is Nevada’s largest, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination, and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown is currently enrolling participants in a community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®.

About Total Health

Total Health is a medical information company of planning experts who produce tailored content, courses, and conferences for oncology healthcare providers, virtual and in-person. Total Health believes knowledge is power. Its mission is to give oncology healthcare providers an educational experience that equips them with the latest strategies to improve clinical practice and treatment outcomes.

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