The Breast Cancer Program includes a complete team of specialists in breast surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, reconstruction and follow-up care. These physicians work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.
Tumor Boards Develop Individualized Treatment
Our weekly "tumor board" meetings include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons and radiologists. This group formulates individualized treatment plans for all of our breast cancer patients.
We are committed to developing improved treatments for our patients and participate in several national clinical trials. The cornerstone to providing care to breast cancer patients is finding the best combination of surgery, medical therapy and radiation to optimize outcomes along with finding a plan that suits the needs of the patient.
Patients are given a tumor stage based on physical examination, radiology studies, and surgery results. Treatment is based on tumor size, lymph node involvement and the involvement of other organs as well as individual patient characteristics. Treatment may consist of receiving chemotherapy first followed by surgery or surgery first followed by either radiation, chemotherapy/hormonal therapy or both.
Most women with breast cancer require surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. The highly experienced surgeons in the Breast Cancer Program are skilled in the techniques of breast-conserving therapy. Whenever possible, they offer surgical options that allow the patient to preserve her breasts while achieving long-term cancer control. In addition, various types of mastectomies can be offered to women who require or desire removal of the whole breast.
Radiation OncologyRadiation therapy plays a key role in helping many women with breast cancer preserve their breasts. The Breast Cancer Program includes radiation oncologists who focus their practice on treating breast disease. They are national leaders in developing new methods of delivering therapeutic radiation and shortening treatment courses.
Various forms of drug therapy can decrease the chance of a breast cancer recurring and help fight cancers that have spread to other parts of the body. The medical oncologists in the Breast Cancer Program have an in-depth understanding of current options in chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and advanced biological drugs.
Some women who receive treatment for breast cancer develop lymphedema, a swelling of the arm or hand caused by the accumulation of lymphatic fluid. Patients in the Breast Cancer Program have access to a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and trained therapists who specialize in lymphedema care and rehabilitation for breast cancer survivors.