Danielle Bertoni, MD, MPH, is a breast surgeon at Smilow Cancer Hospital who specializes in breast surgical oncology. She has a reputation for using breast conservation techniques, performing nipple-sparing mastectomies and a wide range (and type) of breast biopsies, as well as such benign conditions as breast cysts, with successful cosmetic results.
Dr. Bertoni’s mother, grandmother, aunt and cousins have all had breast cancer, and that helped inspire her to become a breast surgeon. “I wanted to be in a field where I could help women get through this difficult time in their lives with as much comfort, reassurance and ease as possible. I wanted to be there to ‘hold their hand’ through the process,” she says.
Dr. Bertoni believes in making the patient the central focus of a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other providers. Highly personalized care is important, she says, adding that she takes into account not only the patient’s diagnosis, but also their personal values and beliefs while guiding them through the process. “I take ownership of my patients,” she says. “This is a long-term relationship.”
A professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Bertoni’s research focuses on improving care and outcomes for patients with breast cancer. She encourages all women to be proactive in talking with their doctor about any breast health questions or concerns. Annual mammograms are key, as are ultrasounds if the doctor recommends them, she says. Any woman who has multiple family members with breast or ovarian cancer should bring that history to their doctor’s attention, and ask how it might impact their personal risk or eligibility for genetic testing or special screening, she adds.