Overview

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States and results in nearly 40,000 deaths each year. Although the number of breast cancer cases has risen over the last decade, the death rate is declining. If your breast cancer screening or mammogram shows signs of cancer, Mercy Health offers comprehensive treatment for women of all ages, with all types of breast cancer, and at all stages of the disease. Treating breast cancer involves using multiple therapies. It can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Our exceptional team of cancer caregivers, including imaging specialists, nurses, physicians, as well as nutrition, rehabilitation and exercise experts, will be at your side, helping you every step of the way as you work toward recovery.

Services We Offer

  • Breast biopsy
  • Breast cancer surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone therapy
  • Nurse navigation (care coordination)
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Breast reconstruction

If your mammogram or other diagnostic testing shows a high likelihood of breast cancer, your doctor will order a biopsy. During a biopsy, a surgeon removes a small amount of breast tissue that will be tested for cancer cells. Mercy Health offers two types of biopsies:

  • Needle biopsy – also known as a core needle biopsy or stereotactic breast biopsy. A needle biopsy is an outpatient procedure during which a doctor uses stereotactic (3D) mammography, ultrasound or CT scan to guide a needle through your skin to the suspicious breast lump. They collect a sample through the needle and send it a laboratory for testing.
  • Surgical biopsy – during a surgical biopsy, a surgeon cuts into the suspicious breast tissue to get a sample, which will then be tested in a laboratory for cancer. Many of our breast surgeons offer minimally-invasive surgery options

Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery is the most common form of treatment for breast cancer. The two most common surgery types are:

  • Lumpectomy surgery – also known as a breast-conserving surgery. In a lumpectomy, a surgeon removes the cancerous tumor and surrounding tissue from your breast. If a lumpectomy is performed, it is almost always combined with radiation therapy.
  • Mastectomy – a mastectomy is a surgery to remove of one or both of your breasts.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug or combination of drugs that attacks and kills cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually given intravenously (through your veins) or by mouth. It is usually, but not always, given after surgery and before radiation therapy. It is used to prevent any cancer cell that may have traveled outside of the breast from growing.

Radiation

Radiation therapy uses targeted, high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells that may linger after surgery. Radiation is painless, relatively easy to tolerate and lasts only a few minutes at a time. Not all women with breast cancer need radiation. It depends on the type of breast cancer, the type of surgery and whether the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes or other areas of your body.

Hormone Therapy

About 60% of breast cancers respond to or grow with estrogen/progesterone normally produced by the body. These breast cancers are said to be estrogen/progesterone positive. Hormone therapy, also known as hormonal therapy, hormone treatment or endocrine therapy, is very effective against these types of breast cancers. They work by blocking the effects of the hormones that promote tumor growth.

Nurse Navigation

Our nurse navigators, also called care coordinators, are champions for you and your family throughout your entire cancer care experience. Nurse navigators help ensure you are able to keep appointments, follow your treatment plan and the support services you need to recover and be well.

Rehabilitation and Therapy

Mercy Health’s rehabilitation and therapy services provide targeted programs to treat lymphedema (swelling) and shoulder issues, including range of motion and pain, which can result from surgery and/or chemotherapy.

Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgery that restores the look and feel of your breast(s) after mastectomy.

Why Choose Mercy Health?
At Mercy Health, breast cancer is not an illness you will go through alone. Our knowledgeable staff and breast cancer specialists focus on helping you understand your treatment and recovery, as well as ensuring that you have the support services you stay focused on getting well. Reach out to learn more or find a breast cancer specialist near you today.
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