Breast Surgical Oncologist Joins Cedars-Sinai Cancer in Tarzana
Lauren DeStefano, MD, Brings Experience, Enthusiasm and Compassion to New Post
Breast surgical oncologist Lauren DeStefano, MD, recently joined the growing roster of cancer specialists at Cedars-Sinai Cancer in Tarzana. Cedars-Sinai Cancer is ranked among the country’s best by U.S. News & World Report.
DeStefano comes to Cedars-Sinai Cancer from the University of Washington’s Department of Surgery and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She earned her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, and completed her residency and served as chief resident at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Darby, Pennsylvania. She completed her breast surgical oncology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Cancer in 2020.
“I enjoyed my time as a Cedars-Sinai fellow, even during the challenging pandemic period,” said DeStefano, a New Jersey native and mother of a 7-year-old son. “When I was approached about coming back here, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m excited to contribute to the great work the Cedars-Sinai breast cancer physicians and researchers provide, and look forward to what I can bring to the community at the outpatient center in Tarzana.”
DeStefano primarily treats patients who have early-stage breast cancer that is curable with surgery and treatment. She became fascinated with surgery as a medical student, she said, and especially enjoys working with breast cancer patients because it allows her to build a close rapport with them that lasts throughout the entire cancer journey.
“I like helping breast cancer patients decide which surgical options are best for them, and holding their hands before surgery, putting them at ease,” DeStefano said. “We weigh treatment options together, whether it is removing only the cancer and affected tissue in a breast or removing all of the breast tissue. I take their opinions and wishes strongly into account.”
DeStefano said that her longtime interest in breast cancer care stems in part from her experience with her grandmother and mother, both of whom are breast cancer survivors. She remembers well the intensity of her mother’s experience, which gives her a unique perspective on the emotional and physical impacts of breast cancer. It also helps imbue her work with compassion and empathy, she added.
While DeStefano will provide care at both the Cedars-Sinai main campus and Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, much of her time is spent at the outpatient Cedars-Sinai Cancer location in Tarzana a short drive from the Tarzana hospital. The outpatient center offers comprehensive cancer care, including imaging, biopsies, surgery, radiation and other treatments, all in one location and close to where patients work and live, she said.
"Dr. DeStefano is a key addition to our faculty," said Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. "Her clinical expertise will greatly contribute to the growth of our nationally recognized breast program and our BRCA Center of Excellence.”
Learn more about breast cancer at the Cedars-Sinai Blog: What’s My Breast Cancer Risk?