Innovating Breast Cancer Treatment
Dr. Alfred John Colfry III is a “100 percent born and bred New Orleanian.” He grew up in Metairie and attended Jesuit High School, and, like so many others who go out of state for higher education, he could not wait to return home. Dr. Colfry, a fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist with Crescent City Physicians, Inc., was originally drawn to medicine by his father, a urologist, and says he always wanted to be a surgeon.
“I always knew I wanted to practice surgery in some form and completed my residency in general surgery,” recalls Dr. Colfry, who served as chief surgical resident at Atlanta Medical Center. “But I had a really great mentor with a successful breast oncology practice who encouraged me to pursue additional training to focus on breast surgical oncology, so I decided to concentrate all of my research in this area.”
Dr. Colfry specializes in the surgical management of breast cancer; this includes advanced techniques in breast conservation (i.e. lumpectomy), oncoplastic surgery, mastectomy and axillary lymph node surgery. He recently completed his breast surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he was introduced to and mastered innovative surgical techniques like radioactive seed localization lumpectomy.
“Regarding treatment modalities, I’m a big believer in breast conservation, if it can be done safely and effectively,” explains Dr. Colfry. “The radioactive seed technique allows for more precise intraoperative mapping of the tumor’s exact location than traditional wire localization methods. It also allows for less breast tissue to be disrupted, which means patients experience an improved cosmetic outcome. It represents true breast preservation in that we remove only what is essential.”
Many of the major cancer centers nationwide are using this minimally invasive technique. Dr. Colfry and his multi-disciplinary team at Touro Infirmary have been working tirelessly to launch this treatment program. They are enthusiastic to bring this advanced expertise to the forefront of breast cancer surgery in Louisiana. Radioactive seed localized lumpectomy offers patients a novel option in breast conservation.
“I was very fortunate to train at MD Anderson and to be exposed to innovative treatments like this,” Dr. Colfry says. “There are very few doctors in Louisiana with this specific training.”
In addition to the radioactive seed technique for lumpectomy, Dr. Colfry also treats breast cancer using the traditional wire localized lumpectomy method. He also performs oncoplastic surgery, which involves not only removing the cancer but also mobilizing local tissue flaps to fill in any cosmetic defects — thereby allowing for optimal aesthetic results. Dr. Colfry feels that his advanced training in breast cancer surgery allows him to approach breast cancer tumor biology in a very sophisticated manner. “No two cancers are alike; all cancers behave differently and each patient’s case is different,” he says. “I enjoy counseling and educating my patients to help them choose the most effective treatment.”
Dr. Colfry also manages benign breast disease as well as high-risk breast cancer patients (those with a strong family history of breast cancer). He has published and contributed to several articles in peer-reviewed medical journals pertaining to a variety of breast syndromes and treatment methods, and he sits on the national education committee of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Medical School: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA
Residency: General Surgery; Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta
Fellowship: Breast Surgical Oncology; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
3434 Prytania St., Ste. 320
New Orleans, LA 70115