Tuesday, October 1, 2019

HBOC WEEK 9/29-10/5

In honor of 2019 National Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Week 9/29-10/5 and National Previvor Day 10/2, my book "Resurrection Lily" is available as "READ NOW" on NetGalley. - 😀Amy

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

September 2019 - New PODCAST & RADIO Spot

I talked with Eleanor Griffith, MS, CGC a board certified genetic counselor and the founder of Grey Genetics about: BRCA, Resurrection Lily, Genetic Testing, Genetic Counseling, Lady Parts, and more! 


Can Genetic Testing Reveal If You Are At Risk For Cancer?: Genetic testing has become more popular as interest in genealogy has exploded. Can a genetic test reveal if you are at risk for cancer? Listen to my chat with Jeff Angelo!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Be a part of LADY PARTS!


I am thrilled to be the consulting producer on a new feature film LADY PARTS! One of my responsibilities is ensuring the accuracy of all BRCA cancer-related information in the script. Join the LADY PARTS team and me; together we can save lives by spreading awareness about the BRCA gene mutation. Be a part of LADY PARTS! 


Our scripted feature film highlights what it is like to be a BRCA positive female and at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

With your donation of $25 or more, we will thank you in the end credits as our LADY PARTS “PART-NER"... in addition, you can also donate in honor of, or in memory of, someone!
Donations to LADY PARTS are tax-deductible to the via 
the 501-(c)(3) non-profit Cinefemme: 

In order to ensure your names will appear on the big screen: 
2) forward your donation receipt and names (as indicated below in yellow box) to this email address: ladypartsthefilm@gmail.com

We are grateful for donations of any amount to help us toward our goal of $200,000! Your gift will have the lasting impact of helping to educate women across the country about the importance of identifying BRCA gene mutations.


Lady Parts is a dramedy-fantasy that tackles the complicated ridiculousness that cancer paints over everything. Sometimes simple questions don't have simple answers.

Actress Devin Sidell will be playing Danielle

Devin Sidell, who is a BRCA1 positive previvor will be playing the role of Danielle. In December 2017, Sidell opted to undergo a preventative double-mastectomy. Sidell has not undergone reconstructive surgery specifically to play the role of Danielle realistically. She will openly exhibit her scars and expanders so that the audience can understand the difficult decisions surrounding preventative mastectomy and the aftermath of surgery. Sidell’s mother is an ovarian cancer and breast cancer survivor. Sidell's aunt died of ovarian cancer. Sidell's sister is a breast cancer survivor. This film is based on Devin Sidell's story and her own lady parts.

Joanna Kerns, Executive Producer of LADY PARTS
The LADY PARTS team:

Cinefemme's Federal Tax EIN Number is 52-237-4579.
Donations to LADY PARTS can be made via the donation above, through a verified charitable giving platform, or by check. Checks should have LADY PARTS written in the memo section, and must be mailed to:  

1507 7th St. #477
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Thank you from the bottom of our parts!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

IndieReader: New Interview

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Shoutout

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Motherhood Moment: Book Nook

Check out my new interview on the Motherhood Moment Blog: Motherhood Moment: Book Nook: Resurrection Lily - The BRCA Gene, Here...: Amy Byer Shainman, also known as the BRCA Responder...

I answer: 

  • Why did you decide to write this book?
  • Why is it important for people to be aware of the BRCA gene mutation?
  • How can people decide what the best option is for them if they do have the BRCA gene mutation?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Congress: Don't Touch Our Genes

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH WEEK! March 25 - 29, 2019

Follow this blogpost to follow my BOOK LAUNCH WEEK!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

USPSTF Recommendations Missing Crucial Information

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without related signs or symptoms.

The USPSTF recently made a new 2019 recommendation statement re:
BRCA-Related Cancer: Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing

There is a opportunity for public comment! 
(Expires on March 18, 2019 at 8:00 PM EST)


Make your voice matter
Be heard

Thursday, February 7, 2019

An UPDATE to Breast Implant Safety - by Guest Blogger David A. Lickstein, MD FACS

David Lickstein, MD FACS wrote a guest blog post in May 2017 in response to a New York Times article regarding breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Due to the recent headlines on this topic and more patient concerns, I reached out to Dr. Lickstein and asked him to write an updated guest post on the topic.                                                                                                               

David A. Lickstein, MD FACS
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Recent headlines regarding the denial of the EU safety certificate and the resultant suspension of the sale in Europe of textured Allergan breast implants have renewed concerns of many patients here in the U.S. with breast implants.  The action is related to ongoing concerns regarding the association between the textured implant surface and a rare type of lymphoma (ALCL) as well as the request for further study of the topic. Implants with smooth surfaces remain available in Europe.  Both smooth and textured surfaces are available for use in the United States.  

Recent studies have implicated the role of biofilm and prolonged low-grade inflammation.  This may also be related to friction or trauma from the rough implant surface on the surrounding tissue.  The irregular covering of textured implants equates to a much greater surface area on the implant that may allow for more ingrowth of bacteria than a smooth shell.   Although not all cases are in patients with confirmed implants types or history, all cases to date in which implant type can be verified are in patients with a history of exposure to textured implants.   Of existing implants, the Allergan textured surface is the most aggressive and has more reported cases than other manufacturers.

In the United States, the latest FDA update was issued in August 2018.  414 case reports of ALCL and 9 deaths have been noted involving different implant types.  The risk of developing ALCL is now estimated to be between 1:3817 and 1:30000.  Cases are typically noted 7-8 years after implantation and the presenting symptom is most often a seroma, or fluid collection around the implant.  Although registries have been established, reporting remains inconsistent, and the numbers may change in the future.  

At present, the FDA has not recommended exchange or removal of implants for asymptomatic patients.  While many women may feel less anxiety after having their textured implant exchanged for a smooth one, there is no data to confirm that this procedure lowers the risk of ALCL moving forward.  Given the late onset of symptoms, women are advised to continue, at a minimum, yearly follow up exams, and be cognizant of any changes to their breasts that should prompt immediate evaluation.

Additionally, the increased use of social media and ability for patients to connect on these platforms has led to an increase in women that present to plastic surgeons for evaluation of systemic symptoms that the attribute to their breast implants (breast implant illness – BII).  These are nonspecific symptoms and vary greatly from patient to patient.  They may include fatigue, pain, hair loss, rash, anxiety, malaise, headaches, sleep changes, depression, neurologic symptoms or hormonal issues.  They have been reported with all types of implants, regardless of fill or shell.  BII is not a specific medical diagnosis and patients may be frustrated because there is no simple test to confirm the relationship between their implants and their symptoms. 

Although prior studies did not indicate any link between silicone implants and systemic symptoms, illness, or laboratory abnormalities - all concerns must be taken seriously by physicians.  Further study is indicated and planned by plastic surgery societies.  For patients who feel affected, there is no data to confirm improvement in symptoms after removal.  Most information shared on the internet and via social media remains anecdotal.  Still, a lack of evidence at present to support a link does not suggest that certain patients who are suffering may not benefit from removal of their implants.

It is recommended that women with concerns regarding ALCL or BII see a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in all types of implant surgery – augmentation, reconstruction, revision, and explantation.  It is also advised that patients with symptoms carefully consider the proliferation of informational seminars and surgeons marketing themselves as “explantation specialists”.  It is also recommended that patients be comfortable with the provider, and that this is not simply a marketing initiative aimed at “selling” expensive “cash only” procedures to groups of fearful women.   A surgeon with experience in all types of breast surgery can discuss the options available after explantation – replacement, mastopexy (breast lift), fat grafting, etc.

 The surgeon should have an understanding of the indications for en bloc capsulectomy (complete removal of the scar around the implant).  Simple explantation alone may not be appropriate to allay fear and treat their condition.  Full capsulectomy, however, requires a large incision and has the additional surgical risks of injury to the muscle, skin, rib, or lung.   The operation may be quite difficult after mastectomy if the skin flaps over the implant are thin.  Experienced surgeons will listen, and be able to provide information and appropriate helpful recommendations.  They should be compassionate and honest about whether they feel symptoms can be improved.

Government hearings to review implant safety are scheduled this year in the US and abroad.  More information will be forthcoming.  At this time, all patients with breast implants in place should see a board certified plastic surgeon yearly – even if they have no new concerns.  Office visits allow for an appropriate physical exam, the exchange of up to date information, and the ability to answer any questions.  The FDA recommends MRI evaluation of implant integrity is recommended three years after implantation and every other year there after. Being healed and pleased with your results does not mean that there is no need for lifetime follow up.  


Learn more about David A. Lickstein, MD FACS licksteinplasticsurgery.com

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cancer in the Family with Pamela Munster, MD

UCSF Lecture with Dr. Pamela Munster