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Breast Cancer

Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support

NorthShore’s breast health program is one of the largest academic multispecialty practices in the state of Illinois. We were the first in the Chicago region to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. We are also a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence as designated by the American College of Radiology. These distinctions reflect the quality breast care our experienced specialists provide to patients.

NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center and the Center for Breast Health combine the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive approach to breast cancer treatment. Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.

Newly diagnosed patients have the added support of a specialized oncology nurse navigator to guide them through their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Screening

Dedicated to breast cancer prevention, we place a major emphasis on early detection. NorthShore offers state-of-the-art imaging, including 3D mammogram, screening breast ultrasound and breast MRI. These advanced imaging services combined with a team of radiologists with substantial experience in interpreting breast imaging enhance our ability to detection breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages. Our network of mammography screening sites ensures easy and timely access to care. Same-day screening mammogram appointments are often available, as well as fast-track scheduling for diagnostic procedures and appointments with breast specialists.

NorthShore’s Center for Breast Health was among the first in the Chicagoland area to offer the Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) procedure, a non-invasive breast cancer screening procedure for asymptomatic patients with dense breast tissue. The procedure has improved the early detection rates in those whose cancer may not be visible via mammography. Our breast centers and satellites are also perform Molecular and Genetic Markers (MGM) screening to better refine diagnosis of early-stage breast cancers and target therapeutics to specific genetic alterations.

Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer treatments vary greatly from patient to patient. Once a breast cancer diagnosis is made, our focus quickly turns to designing a personalized treatment plan for the patient. Breast cancer treatment is focused in two areas:

  • Local therapy, like its name suggests, consists of removal of the breast mass or abnormal imaging findings and sampling of the lymph nodes. A lumpectomy and radiation therapy or mastectomy are used to complete the local control of the primary tumor in the breast.
  • Systematic (or “adjuvant”) therapy 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, individual patient factors are identified to guide additional treatment options such as endocrine (hormone) therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. (NorthShore offers a scalp cooling treatment to prevent hair loss in patients undergoing certain chemotherapy regimens.)

Our High Risk Breast Program educates individuals about their risk for breast cancer. NorthShore’s highly regarded Center for Medical Genetics helps families identify genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer development through the evaluation of genetic risk scores. Additionally, our team can determine if a particular genetic variation is present in the breast cancer tumor and offer highly targeted drug therapies to improve outcomes.

Our multidisciplinary team meets regularly in a multidisciplinary conference tmultidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. Your team may include your medical oncologistsurgeon, plastic surgeon, radiation oncologist, oncology nurse, geneticist, pathologist, nutritionist, mammographer,pharmacist, social worker and researchers. This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action for your care.

Research and Clinical Trials

A robust research program includes national and regional clinical trials for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients as well as for patients with metastatic disease.

Our academic affiliation with the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine provides access to an even greater array of trials for Kellogg Cancer Center patients. Many of our specialists are faculty members at the University of Chicago. Our dedicated research staff works with patients to help determine if they meet criteria for eligibility in clinical trials.

The Center for Advanced Imaging conducts research into new MRI techniques of the breast. Additionally, our breast cancer tissue bank includes samples allowing us to perform translational studies that relate biological tissue characteristics to outcomes.

Additional Patient Support

The Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of services is available to patients through the Center for Breast Health, such as integrative medicine services, patient-to-patient support and financial advocacy, to name a few.

At NorthShore, we know that the end of breast cancer treatment is not the end of the cancer experience. Our Living in the Future (LIFE) Cancer Survivorship Program helps to ensure the long-term health and quality-of-life for cancer survivors.

For More Information

For more information on breast cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112. For information on breast health and surgery, please call 847.570.1700. You can contact us online to schedule a mammogram.