Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast Nurse Navigator Beth Weigel talks about breast cancer treatment options.
Breast cancer treatments vary greatly from patient to patient. Once a cancer diagnosis is made, our focus quickly turns to designing a personalized treatment plan in collaboration with our experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s (NorthShore) Kellogg Cancer Center.
Breast cancer treatment is focused in two areas:
- Local management, like its name suggests, consists of removal of the breast mass or mammography findings and sampling of the lymph nodes. A technique known as sentinel lymph node mapping is generally performed to find if breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and determines if additional lymph nodes need to be removed. A lumpectomy and radiation therapy are used to complete the local control of the primary tumor in the breast as an alternative to mastectomy.
- Systematic management is the approach taken to rid the body of any cancer that has spread, or to prevent the cancer from spreading. Once local therapy has been defined, factors are identified in individual patients to indicate whether endocrine therapy, chemotherapy or both is appropriate for additional treatment in order to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer locally or elsewhere in the body.
Some patients with very small tumors do not need any additional therapy aside from local therapy; other patients may be candidates for additional breast cancer treaments such as medication to reduce the risk of contra lateral or new primary breast cancers.
NorthShore has initiated major efforts to enhance the multimodal diagnosis and management of breast cancer. Our multidisciplinary approach to care uses a variety of resources, coordinating the integration of diagnostic and screening mammography, radiological directed biopsy techniques, surgical intervention and the involvement of both medical oncology and radiation oncology in patient management.
In addition NorthShore has a variety of nationally based clinical trials for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and patients with metastatic disease. The Center for Advanced Imaging conducts research into new MRI techniques of the breast and our highly regarded Center for Medical Genetics helps families identify genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer development.
For More Information
Please call 847.570.2112 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.