dr. thomas dao, breast cancer specialist, dies at 88

Dr. Thomas Dao, a former research director at one of the nation's leading cancer institutes and an early advocate of a conservative approach to breast cancer surgery, died earlier this month in Buffalo. He was 88: Dr. Thomas Dao, Expert on Treatment of Breast Cancer, Dies at 88.

Dr. Dao was director of the breast surgery department at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute from 1957 to 1988. He made contributions in both the clinical treatment of breast cancer and research on how hormones stimulate the growth of tumors.

For decades, radical mastectomy -- in which the breast, underlying chest muscle and lymph nodes are removed -- was standard procedure and was often performed immediately after a biopsy determined a malignant tumor was present.

Dr. Dao's research supported the idea that a delay between the biopsy and surgery gave the patient time to consider various treatments. The two-step procedure is now common.

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