• Treatment

    More than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the U.S. today. The majority of breast cancer survivors live out a normal life span. That says great things about the available treatment options.

    Treating Benign Breast Conditions

    Some benign breast conditions, such as fibrocystic breast changes, do not require treatment. Others may require some care, such as fine needle aspiration, warm compresses and antibiotics—mostly to ease your symptoms. In some cases, a benign tumor may need to be removed surgically.

    Treating Malignant Breast Conditions

    Our team is committed to providing the most appropriate treatment options for your breast cancer according to your needs and preferences. Research has shown that the most aggressive treatment plan isn’t always the best option. We’ll talk to you about all your options, your goals and what might be best for your specific case.

    Whatever your disease stage and goals, you want an experienced team that focuses on breast cancer. Our surgeons specialize in all types of breast surgery.

  • Surgical treatment options

  • Lumpectomy removes the breast cancer and surrounding tissue. 

    In a simple (total) mastectomy, surgeons remove the breast but not the lymph nodes from under the arm, or muscle tissue from beneath the breast. In a modified radical mastectomy, surgeons remove the breast and some underarm lymph nodes.

    This process spares you from having healthy lymph nodes removed. It’s accurate at predicting the presence of disease in the remaining nodes over 98 percent of the time.

    Our skilled breast and plastic surgeons work together in performing the most advanced techniques in breast reconstruction, including:

    • DIEP flap (reconstruction using blood vessels, skin and fat from the abdomen)
    • Implantation reconstruction
    • Latissimus dorsi flap (reconstruction using skin, fat, muscle and blood vessels from the back)
    • SIEA and TUG flap (reconstruction using skin, muscle, fat and blood vessels from the lower abdomen or the inner thigh)
    • SGAP flap (reconstruction using skin, muscle, fat and blood vessels from the buttocks)
    • Tissue expansion (reconstruction using an implant that slowly stretches and grows surrounding skin to cover the implant)
    • TRAM flap (reconstruction using skin, muscle, fat and blood vessels from the lower abdomen)
    • Tattooing to create a natural-looking nipple for your reconstructed breast

  • Systemic therapies

  • Chemotherapy is often given in cycles, with treatment followed by a recovery period. The cycles can be weekly, every two or four weeks, or in some other combination. Oral hormonal therapy is usually taken every day. The total course of chemotherapy lasts between three to six months.

    Tamoxifen and Raloxifene are FDA-approved drugs that block the cancer-causing effects of estrogen in breast tissue.

    Herceptin (trastuzumab) is approved for high-risk patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer after standard chemotherapy.

    Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells and slow tumor growth without damaging the healthy tissue around it. There are many types of radiation therapy, including:

    • Brachytherapy—Radiation that’s implanted temporarily or permanently inside the tumor or the surrounding tissue
    • Conformal radiation therapy—Creates 3-D pictures of the cancer to help aim radiation more precisely
    • Electron beam therapy—A type of external beam therapy that doesn’t penetrate deep into the body
    • External beam therapy—Delivers radiation from a machine outside the body
    • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)—Uses imaging (CT, MRI or PET) scans during treatment to more precisely position or adjust the dose of radiation
    • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)—Allows the intensity of radiation to change during a treatment session
    • Sterotactic radiosurgery—Delivers a large, precise radiation dose to a small tumor area

    Radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy and surgery.

  • Clinical Trials

    When you come to AAMC and the Rebecca Fortney Breast Center for care, you have access to clinical trials and advances in technology, diagnosis, and treatment and prevention, thanks to the Luminis Health Research Institute. Learn more about our research.

    Find a Clinical Trial.