Comprehensive Breast Cancer Care from a Team of Experts
At University Hospitals (UH) Seidman Cancer Center, our breast cancer doctors are dedicated to helping women overcome breast cancer and continue to live healthy, active lives.
The breast cancer care team at UH Seidman Cancer Center provides comprehensive patient-centered care, starting with breast cancer screening through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Our fellowship-trained cancer doctors offer the very latest in medical advancements, along with the most effective breast cancer treatments and the greatest chance of a breast cancer cure.
UH Seidman Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, which is one of an elite group of 41 comprehensive cancer hospitals nationwide. This means UH Seidman Cancer Center has access to the latest treatment options before other hospitals.
Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment Options
Your age, medical history, overall health and cancer type and stage will all determine how your breast cancer will be treated. At UH Seidman Cancer Center, we offer a variety of advanced treatments including:
- Biologic targeted therapy: Biologic targeted therapy uses your body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.
- Hormone therapy: Through special drugs or treatments, hormone therapy reduces the levels or blocks the action of your estrogen and progesterone hormones.
- Oncoplastic surgery techniques: Oncoplastic surgery techniques such as implant reconstruction and tissue flap combine the latest plastic surgery techniques with breast surgical oncology.
- Preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy: Preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy helps lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
- Proton therapy: To treat women with left-sided breast cancer, advanced proton therapy is used by our team to precisely target breast cancer and preserve surrounding tissue.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation treatment for breast cancer uses ionizing or radiation particles to kill cancer cells.
UH Seidman Cancer Center also provides alternative breast cancer treatment with novel therapy approaches to breast cancer treatment through our research and clinical trial program. These approaches involve genomics and immunotherapy and include:
- Our preoperative genomics study enrolls women with all types of receptor positive/negative stage 2 or 3 breast cancer. Women are offered preoperative therapy in an attempt to shrink the tumor and improve breast cancer surgery outcomes. The preoperative targeted treatment regimens will vary depending on the molecular subtype of cancer.
- A trial of the new HER2 targeted therapy, TDM1, after completing preoperative therapy, is available for those patients where the tumor does not completely disappear at the time of breast cancer surgery.
- A novel breast cancer dendritic cell vaccine that generates an immune response against the blood vessels that feed a tumor rather than against the tumor itself. This may circumvent a tumor’s ability to develop resistance to immunotherapy.
Learn more about our approach to breast cancer care.
Multidisciplinary Care and Support Services for Breast Cancer
Each year, more than 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer. Although a new lump or mass on the breast is the most common breast cancer symptoms, women with breast cancer may also experience other symptoms such as breast swelling, pain in the breast or nipple, a nipple that has turned inward or nipple discharge.
Our multidisciplinary team offers personalized breast cancer treatment plans that are unique to each patient and the type and stage of their disease as well as their genetics and circumstances. The following skilled professionals all play an important role in our breast cancer treatment programs:
- Cancer doctors, also called oncologists
- Surgical oncologists
- Plastic surgeons
- Radiation oncologists
- Medical geneticists
- Genetic counselors
- Nurse navigators
- Nurse practitioners
- Social workers
We know a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Our oncology nurse navigators are available to guide our patients through every step of the care process. They focus on connecting patients with the appropriate subspecialists, scheduling timely appointments to get you the care you need when you need it most. We also connect patients to support services for any aspect of emotional or supportive care. With breast cancer-specific experience, our nurse navigators also can answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. In addition, our team provides helpful patient education and information on breast cancer and can connect patients with integrative and support oncology services.
Types and Stages of Breast Cancer
There are many types and several stages of breast cancer. The most common types include:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ: Ductal carcinoma in situ is a non-invasive type of breast cancer where abnormal cells have been discovered in the lining of the breast milk duct.
- Invasive ductal carcinoma: Known as the most common type of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma begins to grow in a breast milk duct and invades the fatty tissue of the breast outside of the duct.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma: Invasive lobular carcinoma begins in the milk-producing glands of the breast known as lobules.
Different stages mean differences in treatment options, so it is important to determine the stage of your breast cancer to design the most effective treatment plan for your particular situation.
At stage 0 and 1 breast cancer, the cancer cells are confined to a very limited area. Stage 2 breast cancer is also confined to a limited area but there is evidence that cancer has started to spread. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is caught early, in stage 1 or 2, the cancer is almost always treatable.
Stage 3 breast cancer is considered advanced and has started to invade the surrounding tissues near the breast. In stage 4 breast cancer, the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body.
Patient-Centric Breast Cancer Screening
UH Seidman Cancer Center is dedicated to taking a patient-centric approach to breast cancer screening. When you visit us for breast cancer screening, you can choose from several innovative breast health programs at selected locations, including:
- Fast Track: Our mammograms are quick and efficient and only take 30 minutes to complete.
- Same-day workup: If you have an abnormal mammogram, you will have the option to receive a full same-day workup or schedule a next-day workup if you prefer.
- 30-minute results: As the only program of its kind in northeast Ohio, you won’t have to wait days or weeks to receive the results of your mammogram. We share them with you 30 minutes after you complete the exam.
- Walk-ins: You are welcome to walk in at any time of the day for your mammogram. We guarantee minimal to no wait time.
Preventing Breast Cancer
Research has proven that lifestyle changes can decrease breast cancer risk in even high-risk women. If you would like to lower your risk of developing this condition, our team can help you learn how these changes can make a big difference in your risk of breast cancer:
- Avoid smoking: Studies have shown a link between smoking and breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women. If you currently smoke, let us help you quit.
- Breastfeed: The longer you breastfeed, the more you can protect your breasts.
- Engage in physical activity: Being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight which can help prevent breast cancer.
- Limit alcohol: The more you drink, the greater your chances of developing breast cancer become. Try to limit alcohol intake to less than 1 drink per day.
Contact UH Seidman for Cutting-Edge Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
For more information on breast cancer diagnosis or treatment at UH Seidman Cancer Center, or to schedule an appointment with our team of breast cancer specialists at a location near you, contact us today.