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Breast Cancer Treatment Options

The surgical, radiation, and medical oncologists at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center work together to find the best mix of therapeutic approaches for you.

We offer a complete spectrum of care for breast cancer. This includes the chance to take part in clinical trials that may offer breast cancer treatments not available elsewhere.

Our broad experience makes it possible for us to understand all aspects of each person’s unique situation.

Every type of breast cancer treatment — traditional and novel — is within our scope of expertise.

Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

Surgery is often part of breast cancer treatment.

Our breast cancer surgeons are experts in techniques that preserve as much normal healthy breast tissue as possible during a lumpectomy. If you need a mastectomy, breast surgeons team up with plastic surgeons who specialize in breast reconstruction.

Your surgeon will discuss your options with you after a thorough review of your diagnosis.

Many times, surgical breast cancer treatment goes hand-in-hand with radiation or medical oncology for greater results.

Radiation Oncology for Breast Cancer

Radiation treatment for breast cancer varies based on the type and stage of disease.

External radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill breast cancer cells.

Typically, you'll have some form of radiation after a lumpectomy. Some people may need it after a mastectomy if the tumor is large or has spread to the lymph nodes.

It's uncommon to receive radiation before breast cancer surgery.

Medical Oncology for Breast Cancer

Medical oncology for breast cancer involves the use of anti-cancer drugs.

We treat some breast tumors with chemotherapy before or after surgery. Your surgeon and medical oncologist will confer to decide the ideal timing for you to receive chemo.

Some breast cancers don't need chemo.

Your cancer doctor may ask for molecular testing of your tumor after surgery to see if you need chemo. He or she may advise hormonal therapy if test results show the tumor has estrogen receptors.

Side effects vary with the type of breast cancer treatment.

Support Services for Breast Cancer Patients

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center also provides supportive care for people with breast cancer.

These services can help lessen the burden of your breast cancer experience.

To make sure you find help for concerns beyond the physical effects of cancer, we offer:

  • Emotional support.
  • Practical tips for living with breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer patient and survivor support groups
  • Health and beauty classes.
  • And more.

Social workers are also part of our team.

They can help you and your loved ones understand your choices and overcome any treatment barriers by providing access to:

  • Community resources.
  • Transportation services.
  • Other social support tools and help.

Contact Us About Breast Cancer

To learn more about Breast Cancer or to make an appointment, you can:

Dr. Susan Branton, Breast Surgeon

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Breast Cancer Specialty Care

Our multidisciplinary team of breast cancer specialists cares for people who have advanced or metastatic breast cancer. They also see those who want a second opinion.

Learn more about Breast Cancer Specialty Care.
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Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program

UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital is a world-class center for complete medical-surgical care in the Pittsburgh area. Teams at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Magee work together to treat breast cancer in both women and men.

Learn about the breast cancer program at Magee's website.
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