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OBR OncologyMore “Cage Rattling,” Less Talking: Susan Love’s Lessons for Oncologists

Dr. Stephanie Graff, a medical advisor to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, reflects on Dr. Love’s influence in reshaping attitudes and approaches in oncology.

Dr. Susan Love was a distinguished surgeon and breast cancer advocate whose legacy of patient-centered care and cancer research continues to influence the medical field, even after her recent demise due to leukemia recurrence.

Key Points:

  • Renowned surgeon and breast cancer advocate, Dr. Susan Love, passed away at 75 due to leukemia recurrence.
  • Dr. Love emphasized the importance of listening to patients, advocating for their needs, and continuously innovating in cancer research.
  • Dr. Graff highlights Dr. Love’s ability to translate complex medical concepts into understandable language, which made her a trusted resource for patients.

Additional Points:

  • Dr. Love pioneered patient advocacy in oncology, promoting direct-to-patient communication, and more shared decision making.
  • She was a strong proponent of involving patients in cancer research and pushing for more substantial progress in cancer treatment.
  • Dr. Love’s research focused on understanding the origins of breast cancer with the aim of preventive therapies.


  • Dr. Love’s unique approach towards patient care, advocacy, and research have had a profound impact on the field of oncology. Her principles continue to inspire physicians to promote patient-centric care and push boundaries in cancer research.

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“I just love the way that she approached patient advocacy and talking to women like they’re humans because, wait for it, they are. That was, believe it or not, revolutionary when she first set up some of her initial practices early in her career.”

Stephanie Graff, MD
Medical Advisor to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research
Director of Breast Oncology at the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island
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