Breast Cancer

Breast cancer occurs in the breast tissue of both women and men. With early detection, this cancer has a 90 percent survival rate.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass on the breast.  Breast cancers can be either hard masses with irregular shapes or soft and tender round masses. Both can be either painless or painful depending on the size, location, and type of breast cancer. Common symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Swelling of all or part of the breast, even if no lump is felt
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Nipple discharge, other than breast milk
  • Nipple retraction, or turning inward of the nipple
  • Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin

Diagnosis

In addition to all major cancer screening and diagnosis methods, we also offer these techniques when testing for breast cancer:

  • Clinical Breast Exam – A thorough manual exam of the breast performed by a doctor or other health professional
  • Screening Mammogram – An x-ray picture of the breast
  • Diagnostic Mammogram – A targeted mammogram for women who exhibit breast problems such as a lump, nipple discharge, or an abnormal area during a screening mammogram
  • Breast Ultrasound – Also known as sonography, this technique uses sound waves to outline a part of the body suspected of disease
  • Ductogram – Also know as a galactogram, this test uses a special imaging technique to see if a tumor is causing nipple discharge
  • Nipple Discharge Exam – Discharge from the nipple is collected and examined under a microscope for cancer cells

Treatment

Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. We offer both lumpectomies, which remove the affected area of the breast, as well as mastectomies, which remove one or both breasts. Patients who undergo mastectomies may opt for breast reconstruction, or rebuilding of the breast tissue removed during surgery.

Radiation and chemotherapy are also treatment options for breast cancer. Your care team will work with you to determine your exact course of treatment. Learn more about treatment options.