Breast Cancer Treatments
The physicians at Crighton Olive Dunn want to ensure you that expertise and highly effective treatment options are on their side. Our staff and physicians will utilize some of the best resources to join your fight against cancer, and we will do so with compassion and respect. At Crighton Olive Dunn Surgical Group you will have the area’s only fellowship-trained breast oncologist, which means the leading expert in breast cancer is here to put his experience to work for you.
There are numerous treatment options available to you at Crighton Olive Dunn Surgical Group, and after your diagnosis we will take the time to discuss the best option for you.
Breast Cancer Surgery
The physicians at Crighton Olive Dunn Surgical Group want to explore every available treatment option after your cancer diagnosis. If surgery is the best option, our physicians have the expertise you deserve for your procedure.
There are two types of breast cancer surgeries. A mastectomy is the removal of the whole breast and a lumpectomy is the partial removal of the breast.
During a lumpectomy, the cancerous tissue is removed along with the small layer of normal tissue around the tumor. This is referred to as a margin. A certain type of lumpectomy may be performed via an oncoplastic technique depending on the patient’s breast. This type of lumpectomy allows for more cosmetic options for the patient.
During a simple mastectomy, the entire breast is removed. Certain patient may be able to undergo nipple sparing or skin sparing mastectomies. The determination for these procedures is determined individually. A modified radical mastectomy requires the removal of the entire breast, as well as lymph nodes underneath the arm (Level 1 and Level 2 nodes). A bilateral mastectomy (double) is removal of both breasts.
Lymph Node Biopsy
If a patient has clinically negative nodes a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed. A sentinel node biopsy is a targeted sampling of the lymph nodes in the axilla. The breast typically drains in a certain pattern which allows for the targeted sampling. A radioactive dye is injected into the lymphatic system in the breast as well as a blue dye (methylene blue). These dyes allow for sampling (removal) of the first drainage nodes. By removing less lymph nodes we decrease the possibility of lymphedema (swelling in the arm).
Many patients have questions about reconstructive surgery after one or both breasts have been removed. Our physicians will review those options with you and work closely with a plastic surgeon to give the patient the best cosmetic result possible. Cosmesis is important. After the cancer has been treated, this is what the patient sees after their care.
This is used as an adjunct in local control of breast cancer. We may work closely with a radiation oncologist in certain cases. We offer both whole breast radiation therapy and partial breast radiation therapy (SAVI) to our patients. The determination for each different type of radiation is case specific.
Chemotherapy may be recommended treatment for breast cancer. Chemotherapy is IV medications which work systemically (throughout the whole body). Chemotherapy may be given before surgery (neoadjuvant) to shrink the tumor. This theoretically begins systemic treatment. By starting chemotherapy before surgery this may shrink the tumor. This may make a patient a candidate for a less invasive surgery. Oftentimes, chemotherapy is also used post-surgery, a process which is called adjuvant therapy.
Certain breast cancers cancer may have hormone receptors present on the surface of the tumor. The tumor hormones are estrogen and progesterone. Oral medications may be used in patients who have these receptors present. Commonly used medications are receptor modulators (Tamoxifen or Evista), or aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, letrozole, or exemestane).
These medications can also be used with patients found to be high risk of developing breast cancer. This may reduce the risk in these patients up to 50%.