Breast Surgical Oncology
Types of Breast Cancer
Risks associated with breast cancer include:
Breast cancer can also occur in men, although it is uncommon.
Risk factors for breast cancer in men include:
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
The early stages of breast cancer may not have any signs. As the mass grows in size, it can cause problems like:
Tests Which Give Us More Information
Breast cancer stage depends on the following:
Stage ranges from Stage 0 (called carcinoma in situ) to Stage IV (tumors that have spread to other parts of the body). The stage and type of breast cancer will help your provider plan your treatment.
There are many ways to treat breast cancer, but the main types of treatment are local or systemic. Surgery and radiation are used to treat only the cancer. They do not affect the rest of the body.
This is called local treatment. Chemotherapy and hormone treatment drugs go through the whole body. They can reach cancer cells anywhere in the body. They are called systemic treatment.
Local and systemic treatments are both used to treat breast cancer. The treatment which is best for you will depend on the following:
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- If the cancer is in just one area of the breast or more than one area
- Your age
- Other health problems you have
- Your feelings about the treatment and the side effects that come with it
- Lumpectomy: Removal of only the part of the breast with cancer and not the entire breast. The mass is removed along with a small area of surrounding normal breast tissue.
- Mastectomy: Removal of the entire breast. This includes the nipple, areola, breast tissue and some of the lymph nodes from under the arm.
- Reconstruction – When the entire breast is removed, the Plastic Surgery team rebuilds it so women can be confident after their breast cancer treatment has been completed
Radiation beams are aimed at the breast from a machine outside the body, called external beam radiation. Radiation treatment typically takes 20 minutes daily from Monday to Friday for 4-6 weeks.
Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy, which means that it travels throughout the whole body to kill cells. These drugs may be given as an infusion or taken as a pill. Chemo is given in cycles or rounds; each round of treatment is followed by a break. Most of the time, two or more chemo drugs are given, and treatment usually lasts for 4-6 months.
Some cancers are fueled by hormones and may rely upon them to grow. In these cases, blocking the action of these hormones can prevent the recurrence of the cancer in the breast and all over the body. Hormone therapy is taken as a pill every day for 5-10 years and is a systemic therapy.
Source: Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society
Resources for Patients:
Peer Mentorship Program: We have a unique peer mentorship program to connect our patients with other patients who have already beaten a similar type and stage of cancer. Our patients love helping others through the process. For breast surgical oncology services, contact us today.
Patient Navigation: We have a patient navigator who will make sure you get to all your appointments and who will make sure your team of doctors works together for YOU.