Breast Cancer Treatment Options
A patient's cancer treatment is dependent upon the type and size of the cancer diagnosed, the stage of the cancer, age, health status, previous cancer treatments, and any additional personal characteristics. Treatment may involve lumpectomy (surgical removal of the tumor) or a mastectomy (surgical removal of one or both breasts). Treatments may also include radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and other alternative programs.
When a sample of tissue is removed during a needle biopsy or during surgery, a team of pathologists dedicated specifically to analyze pathologies for breast cancer will examine the results thoroughly. To ensure accuracy, each specimen is read by two different pathologists on the breast cancer team. The pathologist report provides your doctor with a detailed description of the sample. This Pathology Report is intended to be read by your doctor, so it is quite comprehensive and written in medical language.
Every breast cancer case at Alta Bates Summit is reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of clinicians to determine the best course of treatment for individual patients. The multidisciplinary breast pre-treatment board includes radiologists, pathologists, breast surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists. In each board meeting the specialists review the medical status of the patient and analyze scans and pathology reports before discussing treatment options. This open, collaborative discussion allows for multiple clinicians to combine past experience and skills in treating breast cancer to come up with a treatment plan that best fits each individual patient’s situation.
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has produced a series of videos on risk, diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, and you can select from the topics to the right. The purpose of these videos is to guide you through the stages of evaluation of this disease, describe factors that affect prognosis, and discuss various treatments which may be appropriate for you.
We do not endorse or recommend one course of treatment over another, but rather provide this information to help you understand your options before you consult with your doctors about your treatment plan. Please note: Viewing these videos works best over a high-speed internet connection. If you'd prefer to receive a DVD copy, please call Markstein Services at (510) 869-8833.