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Deborah Axelrod, Leading Breast Cancer Surgeon
NYU Medical Center


Deborah Axelrod, M.D. is Director of Clinical Breast Services and Breast Surgery and Medical Director of Community Cancer Education and Outreach at NYU’s new Clinical Cancer Center in New York City and a board certified surgeon who specializes in breast diseases and breast cancer. She is Associate Professor of Surgery at New York University School of Medicine.

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Axelrod completed a surgical oncology research fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She is widely published in her field and has been in practice since 1988.

Dr. Axelrod is a prominent speaker throughout the country, presenting to both lay and professional audiences information on new developments in risk-reduction measures, detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Under the leadership of Dr. Axelrod, monthly programs for the community (Insights In Context ™ ) are offered throughout the year emphasizing diagnosis, treatment and risk reduction of cancer in women. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Dr. Axelrod was Chief of the Comprehensive Breast Center at St. Vincents Hospital and Medical Center in New York City (1999-2004). She initiated the Community Lecture Series program which is successfully into its sixth year offering lectures and resources to the community. Works of art by patients at the Saint Vincents Cancer Center are displayed as a rotating show since the opening of the Center in 1999. Dr. Axelrod was instrumental in initiating the Artist in Residence Program offering art therapy to all patients under treatment for cancer. This program is in collaboration with the Creative Center for Women With Cancer which also continues a long relationship at NYU Medical Center and now at the NYU Clinical Cancer Center. From 1988 to 1999, Dr. Axelrod was Physician – in – Charge of the Louis Venet MD Comprehensive Breast Service at Beth Israel Hospital and Medical Center in New York City.

Dr. Axelrod is the recipient of a 2001 Craft grant awarded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to screen and recruit Chinese women at risk for breast cancer into the STAR trial (study of tamoxifen and raloxifene).

She co-authored the book Bosom Buddies: Lessons and Laughter about Breast Health and Cancer with Rosie O’Donnell and Tracy Chuterian-Semler, that uses humor to help cope with breast cancer. ALL proceeds for the book are being donated to various non-profit breast cancer organizations to help fund ongoing outreach, support, education and research programs. Dr. Axelrod founded www.breastdoc.com, an educational website.

Always at the forefront of patient advocacy, Dr. Axelrod is active nationally and in the community- dedicated to educating the public about breast cancer and the need to take an active role in one’s own health care. She is on the Board of Directors at SHARE (Self-Help Group for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer) in New York City and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Northern New Jersey Affiliate and Cancer 101, offering organizational resources to men and women diagnosed with cancer. She has been appointed to the Medical Resource Council at Gilda’s Club in New York City (a cancer support community for people with cancer and their families) and Health Advisory Board at Hadassah and Medical Advisory Board at the Young Survival Coalition and Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA).

In 2000, Dr. Axelrod was the honoree at the annual SHARE-A-WALK in Central Park and received the Special Recognition Award from JALBCA (Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert) and the Humanitarian Tower of Hope Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund. In 2001, Dr. Axelrod received the Creative Spirit Award from the Creative Center for Women with Cancer and was also the honoree of the 5th Annual Pink Tie Ball sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, North Jersey Affiliate. In November 2003, Dr. Axelrod received the Annual Gilda’s Club, It’s Always Something Award.

On November 6th, the Compass award will be presented to Dr. Axelrod by the Women's Leadership Exchange® in New York City.

In an effort to bring original works of art to hospitals – Dr. Axelrod founded Say Ahh (say art helps heal) ™ . Say Ahh ?, a non-profit organization, and a voice of the community, reaches out through visual arts to turn hallways into hope and to convert bare walls into canvases of inspiration and inner peace.

Deborah Axelrod lives in Summit, New Jersey with her husband Dr. Noel Raskin and two very active boys, Ben and Max, ages fourteen and sixteen. In addition to being a baseball mom, Dr. Axelrod is past Chairperson of the Cultural arts program at her children’s school and on the Board of Directors for Summit Junior Baseball. Deborah enjoys weight lifting and hiking and follows the advice she gives her patients - maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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