Physicians focus on YOU at Henry Mayo Dr. Greg Senofsky
When the science of surgery becomes art, the process of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is transformed into a field of complete specialization. Keeping an impressive local recurrence rate after surgery down to 2 percent, Dr. Greg Senofsky has practiced surgical oncology for the past 25 years, 18 of which have been with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. As Medical Director of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center and author and editor of The Patient’s Guide to Outstanding Breast Cancer Care, he has found Valencia to be a great place to practice; and, more importantly, a safe environment for his patients to escape the bustling city. “Do not let the fear of possible breast cancer keep you from seeking appropriate medical attention or, for that matter, from having your yearly mammograms (beginning at age 40) and physical examinations,” Greg Senofsky, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.S.S.O., said in his book.
Certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Senofsky performs ten to twelve surgeries a week and offers daily patient care and consultations Monday through Friday. He also works as faculty for UCLA, leads Tumor Boards amongst fellow physicians, attends Society of Surgical Oncology meetings, and is involved in clinical trials for target therapies introducing new medications. This includes an incredible breakthrough in genetic testing for hundreds of patients he’s treated with the positive cancerous gene and significant family histories—many who have never been diagnosed with breast cancer. Not to mention, he has begun research for UCLA to observe DNA changes in breast tissue that may lead to breast cancer and he also enjoys reading and publishing medical journals on a regular basis.
Since the 1970s, surgeons have been using breast-saving procedures to produce methods for better margins and excellent cosmetic results. With experience and precision, Dr. Senofsky utilizes techniques to reduce the risk of local recurrence and even improve the breast shape through careful reconstruction. Most common surgeries are lumpectomies, or wide local excisions, which remove the tumor with an attempt to clear the margins simultaneously and which include a sentinel node removal to see if the cancer has involved the two or three specific axillary nodes that receive cells from that area of the breast.
With a highly specialized mammography machine in the operating room and the ability of our pathologists to analyze the margins of the lumpectomies to a high degree while the patients are asleep, Dr. Senofsky is able to rely on a pathologist’s measurement of the normal tissue between the edge of breast cancer and the edge of the lumpectomy to detect where else to remove tissue while the patient is still on the table. When necessary, he will apply flap advancement, volume redistribution, and breast lift to restore the natural breast shape. For patients with cancers too large or multifocal or who carry one of the dangerous oncogenes, mastectomy with immediate reconstruction may be required. A mastectomy is the removal of the breast, which can often be done with areolar and/or nipple preservation. The skin-sparing approach Dr. Senofsky takes requires immediate reconstruction with the help of a plastic surgeon. “The goal is to get the cancer out with a clear margin, a nice cosmetic result, and to anticipate if the cancer is likely to spread,” he said.
Dr. Greg Senofsky attended undergraduate at Yale, finished in his home state of Texas at Rice University, and went on to medical school at Baylor. During his residency at UCSD, his training went beyond general surgery leading to a two-year fellowship in surgical oncology in the early 1990s. He has trained with some of the most prestigious names in breast cancer surgery and has also made a name for himself presenting his abstract for improved local incurrence rate, with pathologist Dr. Rashida Soni, to a breast cancer conference in Milan, Italy. For 22 years, he’s been married to his wife Tanya whom he met as a colleague at the Antelope Valley Hospital. Together, the whole family loves to ride waves and scuba dive at the beach.
Maintaining 10-hour days in the office, Dr. Senofsky loves the artistic side of operating and plans on doing just that for at least twelve more years. With the start of his research and the second edition of his book published in 2002 underway, he has plenty to keep him busy. “I’m in it to save lives,” Dr. Senofsky said eager to get back to work.