Breast cancer is the most common type of life-threatening cancer among women in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is more likely to develop in women after the age of 50. However, breast cancer occurs in younger women, too. While breast cancer affects mostly women, men can also develop the disease.
The good news is that our improved understanding of breast cancer biology has made it possible to personalize treatment according to the tumor type, stage of disease and the patient's overall health and preferences. Physicians now have a better understanding of which patients are likely to benefit from a particular treatment, and can offer surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy much more precisely. In addition, survival rates have increased due to both early detection and improved treatment.
Breast cancer surgeons at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) are part of a multidisciplinary group of breast specialists devoted solely to the care of patients at risk for or diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition to surgical oncologists, this team of experts includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, imagers, geneticists, physical therapists, physician assistants and nurses. Collaborating as one powerful force, providing individualized and compassionate care - from breast cancer screening to leading edge medical oncology and radiation therapy and offering reconstructive surgery options to research and clinical trials, support and follow up care, survivorship and prevention programs.
Our comprehensive diagnostic and surgical services are available at three central locations: Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. Breast cancer screening and imaging tests are available at:
Even though hearing the words “breast cancer” is frightening, it is important to remember that it is not a medical emergency. Be sure to take time to gather information and consider your options and preferences in order to make informed treatment decisions with your medical team. At DF/BWCC we encourage you to learn about your type of cancer, treatment options, the role you play in your care and options such as participation in clinical trials and access to the latest advances in reconstructive surgery. We are committed to you and are available to answer any questions you might have as you face this challenge.
Our breast cancer specialists work with you to collect and evaluate all diagnostic information to ensure that we get a clear understanding of your tumor type and characteristics. This information is then used to develop a targeted treatment plan designed to maximize your long-term health while minimizing side effects.
If you are at increased risk for breast cancer or want to learn more about your risk, the Breast Cancer Personalized Risk Assessment, Education and Prevention (B-PREP) Program—a step-by-step, comprehensive and customizable program created by breast cancer specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital—has been designed to help patients like you understand your risk and your options for surveillance and prevention.
Learn more about our B-PREP Program.
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