Breast cancer is a serious but highly survivable disease, impacting hundreds of thousands of women each year. At Franciscan Health, we realize the key to battling breast cancer is early detection and prevention.
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An Experienced, Innovative Team to Help in the Fight against Breast Cancer
Our multidisciplinary breast centers bring together leading experts in surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology and genetic counseling. Together, they design personalized treatment plans for every patient using the most innovative and advanced breast cancer treatments available.
What makes breast cancer care at Franciscan Health different?
- Dedicated surgeons who specialize in breast cancer surgery
- Plastic surgeons who specialize in breast reconstruction
- The latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies
- Personalized care plans
- Access to extensive clinical research trials
- Genetic counseling and testing
- A full range of breast health services offered in convenient, comforting locations
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
Early breast cancer usually does not cause symptoms. This is why on-going breast health and regular clinical breast exams and mammograms - are important. As breast cancer grows, the following signs and symptoms may present themselves:
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- Changes regarding the nipple - discharge or tenderness, or the nipple pulled back (inverted) into the breast
- Skin changes including the presence of ridges or pitting (the skin resemble the skin of an orange) or skin of the breast, areola, or nipple looks or feels warm, swollen, red or scaly
Advanced breast cancer symptoms may include bone pain, skin ulcers and weight loss. There are risks for breast cancer you can change (alcohol use, smoking, obesity) and those you cannot (age, family history, genetics). To reduce your risks, it's important to make healthy lifestyle changes and discuss overall breast health during your regular physician visits.
Advanced breast cancer screening techniques
Early detection is the key to treating breast cancer at its most curable stages. Franciscan Health offers women comprehensive breast imaging services to thoroughly examine the breast, find cancers quickly and help create a treatment plan. Diagnostic imaging and services include:
Breast MRI uses magnetic fields to create an image of the breast using a contrast agent. A breast MRI is done mostly for diagnosis of breast cancer and staging.
CT (computed tomography) guided biopsies are used to test for cancer or infection. CT scan imaging guides where the needle is placed, during which the patient will need to lie still for about 30-60 minutes.
Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the breast tissue. A breast ultrasound is used to see whether a breast lump is filled with fluid or if it's solid.
Mammograms are one of the most effective tools to detect breast cancer early, when there is an increased chance of survival. Our mammography staff sets the bar in providing comprehensive screenings and mindful consultation.
Franciscan Health takes mammography and early breast cancer detection to the next level with 3D mammography. This advanced digital tool improves the ability to detect smaller breast cancers that would be hidden on a traditional mammography.
A radiologist may order a stereotactic biopsy if a small growth or calcification appears on a mammogram. Using a local anesthesia, tissue and fluid are extracted allowing future examination to determine whether cancer is present.
Ultrasound breast biopsies are ultrasound guided biopsies of breast tissue. These use ultrasound imaging to guide needle placement to test for cancer or infection.
Innovative treatment options for breast cancer
Depending on the stage and type of breast cancer, most women will receive a combination of breast care treatments which include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted hormone therapy. Following a diagnosis, our board-certified radiologists, pathologists, oncologists and surgeons begin to coordinate the right care for the best outcome.