Breast Cancer SurvivorSee More Survivor Stories...
No case is typical. You should not expect these results.
"I wanted to live to see my kids grow up. That's what gave me the drive to fight cancer. Cancer Treatment Centers of America supported that in me. They gave me choices. They made me realize that every life is worth saving. You can't fight cancer if you don't have hope."
Whether you are exploring breast cancer information for yourself or a loved one, we are here to help. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we put you first and at the center of your care. We believe in your right to be informed about the best options for your breast cancer treatment, and to be fully involved in every decision about your care. Also, we recognize that everyone is different. That is why we take a personalized approach to your breast cancer treatment. Your care team at CTCA will empower you with information and work with you to formulate a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Your integrative care plan will include long-established traditional breast cancer treatments, along with sophisticated complementary therapies - all under one roof. This system allows your medical oncologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist and pain management physician to team up with nutritionists, naturopaths, mind-body specialists and spiritual counselors to provide you with a seamless experience. Throughout your breast cancer treatment, your team will use the latest technology, research and medical advancements. In addition, your care team will communicate regularly with each other, and you, to discuss the progress of your treatment. Our support doesn't stop once you've completed treatment. Your care team at CTCA will also help you develop a plan for maintaining your health and taking the next steps in recovery.
Stage 0 breast cancer is sometimes called non-invasive carcinoma or carcinoma in situ. This very early stage of the disease is sometimes interpreted as a precancerous condition. In stage 0, there is no evidence of cancer cells breaking out of the part of the breast in which it started, or of getting through to or invading neighboring normal tissue. There are two types of breast cancer in situ: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), also called intraductal carcinoma, and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). DCIS refers to cancer cells in an area of abnormal tissue in the lining of a breast duct. If DCIS lesions are left untreated, over time cancer cells may break through the duct and spread to nearby tissue, becoming an invasive breast cancer. LCIS refers to abnormal cells in the lining of a breast lobule. These abnormal cells seldom become invasive cancer. However, their presence is a sign of an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Stage I breast cancer describes invasive cancer, in which cancer cells have broken through to or invaded neighboring normal tissue. This is an early stage of the disease, in which the tumor measures up to two centimeters and no lymph nodes are involved. Women with early stage breast cancer may have breast-sparing surgery (lumpectomy) followed by radiation therapy as their primary local treatment, or they may have a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) with or without breast reconstruction (plastic surgery) to rebuild the breast. Sometimes radiation therapy is also given to the chest wall after lumpectomy or mastectomy. In addition, chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy, called "adjuvant" therapy, may also be given to try to destroy any remaining cancer cells and to prevent the cancer from recurring.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed. You may feel anxious to obtain as much information as possible to understand your treatment options and get a handle on this disease. You want to act quickly, but, at the same time, you want to make the right decision in choosing the best treatment facility for you. You don't have to look far. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) , we are here to make your journey towards healing easier. Your well-being is what matters most to us, so we don't just talk to you, we listen. At CTCA, you will be first and at the center of your care. Here, we take an integrative approach to cancer care by supporting you on multiple levels - to treat your whole being, not just your breast cancer. We design our hospitals to be your home away from home, where you will have access to the latest breast cancer technologies and therapies all under one roof. This includes leading-edge conventional breast cancer treatments (including MammoSite Radiation Therapy System (RTS)), supplemented by sophisticated complementary therapies. Our expert, compassionate medical team will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. At CTCA, you are at the center of our hearts, minds and actions every day.
Stage II breast cancer, while still a serious disease, is more easily treated than cancer in the later stages. Stage II breast cancer describes invasive cancer in which either the tumor measures between two to five centimeters, or the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm on the same side as the breast cancer. Stage II breast cancer is divided into subcategories known as stage IIA and stage IIB. Stage III breast cancer, or locally advanced cancer, means that the tumor in the breast is more than two inches in diameter across and the cancer is extensive in the underarm lymph nodes, or has spread to other lymph nodes or tissues near the breast. Stage III is divided into subcategories known as stage IIIA and stage IIIB.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with stage II or stage III breast cancer, you might be experiencing a wide range of emotions, including anxiety, helplessness, fear, sadness and anger. Although it can be difficult to sort through all of these emotions, you need to know that you are not alone. The care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is here to help. We aim to give you back the control that a breast cancer diagnosis often strips away. Our Patient Empowerment Medicine (PEM) model puts you first and at the center of your care by encouraging you to be fully involved in your treatment decisions. Here, we recruit highly-skilled, caring doctors and practitioners who take the time to know you and your unique situation, just like family. Our care team will communicate regularly with each other, and you, to guide you through a comprehensive breast cancer treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Your breast cancer treatment plan will consist of time-tested conventional treatments, new and innovative methods and complementary therapies - all under one roof. Conventional stage II and stage III breast cancer treatment can consist of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three. At CTCA, we employ leading-edge methods such as High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy and TomoTherapy. In addition, you may also receive hormonal therapy, or adjuvant therapy, to try to destroy remaining cancer cells and to prevent the cancer from recurring. To complement your traditional treatments, you will also have the option to incorporate sophisticated complementary therapies into your treatment plan, such as naturopathic medicine, nutritional therapy, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation (see treatment options for lymphedema) and spiritual support. Your entire care team at CTCA will work together regularly to discuss your progress and continually look for ways to enrich your journey of hope and healing.
Stage IV breast cancer describes cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body. Stage IV breast cancer is called metastatic breast cancer. In stage IV, a tumor has spread beyond the breast, underarm, and internal mammary lymph nodes. The tumor may have also spread to the supraclavicular lymph nodes (nodes located at the base of the neck, above the collarbone), bones, lungs, liver, or brain.
Stage IV breast cancer is a serious illness, but fortunately, today there are a number of treatments available that can give women new hope. No matter what you think, or what you may have been told, you are still in control, and you always have choices. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we aim to bring these choices to light by putting you at the center of your care. Here, our doctors take the time to listen to you and work as a team to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. In a caring, compassionate setting, we use every available resource to approach your cancer on all fronts - to treat your whole person, not just the disease. That is why we employ an integrative care model that combines long-established and innovative traditional medical treatments with supportive complementary therapies - all under one roof. Conventional treatments for stage IV breast cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. You also have the option to incorporate complementary therapies in your treatment plan, including nutritional therapy, pain management, oncology rehabilitation, spiritual support, image enhancement and more. At CTCA, we will fight alongside you throughout your entire continuum of care.
Recurrent breast cancer means the breast cancer has come back in spite of the initial treatment. Most recurrences appear within the first two or three years after treatment, but breast cancer can recur many years later. Breast cancer that returns locally (i.e., in the area of the surgery) is called a local recurrence. If the disease returns in another part of the body, it is called metastatic breast cancer.
For many, worrying that your breast cancer may return can become all-consuming. Then, finding out that your breast cancer has recurred can become a different type of distress. You need to know that you are not alone. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we are here to help you through this difficult time and make your journey a little more manageable. At CTCA, we try to instill hope in our patients every day. If your breast cancer has recurred, we will work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique situation. Here, you will have access to leading-edge treatments, including TomoTherapy technology, which makes it possible for our doctors to re-treat previously treated areas that have a recurrence of cancer. This new form of therapy combines an advanced form of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with CT scanning technology to deliver radiation with unprecedented accuracy to hard-to-reach areas. CTCA hospitals are among the few hospitals in the world to offer these innovative breast cancer therapies. In addition to conventional treatment options, we also offer complementary therapies, including naturopathic medicine, nutritional therapy, pain management, oncology rehabilitation and mind-body medicine. Our goal is to help you fight cancer on many fronts, while supporting your physical, mental and spiritual health.
One of the most important weapons in your fight against breast cancer is breast cancer research. Breast cancer research has provided a number of important discoveries in recent years and continues to provide advancements in breast cancer treatment options and early detection. The scope of breast cancer research includes areas of genetics, screening and prevention, clinical interventions, and much more. Researchers are currently exploring breast cancer risk factors and tumor markers, which are substances that may be present in abnormal amounts in people with cancer. Also, studies are currently being conducted on surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and combinations of these types of treatment. In addition, researchers continue to examine ways to lessen the side effects of breast cancer treatments (such as lymphedema from surgery), reduce pain, and improve the quality of patients' lives.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we understand that continued support of breast cancer research is essential to uncovering promising new breast cancer treatments and helping save lives. Through dedicated participation in clinical breast cancer research trials and more, CTCA plays an integral role in offering patients new and innovative investigational cancer treatment options. In addition, CTCA continues to evaluate the prognostic significance of a variety of clinical and non-clinical variables on cancer treatment outcomes. Through this research, CTCA continues to learn new ways to optimize care. Our expert medical team is constantly seeking out new breast cancer research and applying it to our treatment methods to provide you with what we believe is a more complete breast cancer treatment plan. Many of the advances provided by breast cancer research have shown us that in addition to traditional methods of treatment, there are a number of other factors that may help increase the overall success of breast cancer treatment. At CTCA, we developed our integrative care model to recognize these other factors and address the needs of the whole person, not just the disease. In addition to leading-edge conventional medicine treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, we also offer innovative complementary therapies, such as naturopathic medicine, nutritional therapy, mind-body medicine, pain management, oncology rehabilitation and spiritual support.
We understand you might be feeling overwhelmed by what's ahead, and that the last thing you need is more complication in your life. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is here to help. Should you decide to become a patient at CTCA, we will handle all the details for you to make your arrival at one of our hospitals as seamless and effortless as possible. We will work with your insurance company on your behalf, help you understand your benefits, gather your medical records, schedule your appointments, coordinate your transportation to one of our facilities, and help with your lodging arrangements, if needed. Once you arrive at one of our CTCA hospitals, you will have access to cutting-edge technology and advanced treatment options - all under one roof. Your expert care team will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, including both conventional treatments and complementary therapies, to fight your cancer on all fronts. Our After Care Program aims to help you maintain your health and improve your quality of life once your hospital treatment is complete.
We invite you to read our breast cancer survival stories written by courageous individuals who found the path to breast cancer recovery with help from CTCA. While no case is typical, these breast cancer recovery stories provide information about the successes that are possible. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, you are not just a number; you are at the center of our hearts, minds and actions, every day. No matter where you are in your fight against breast cancer, we are here to help. To learn more about your breast cancer treatment options at CTCA, call 1-800-615-3055. Our Oncology Information Specialists (OIS) are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to listen and help you in the decision-making process. You can also send them an email or chat online. At CTCA, we are here to help you take the next steps and discover a new path towards healing.