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Breast Cancer Center, Philadelphia

Your treatment options

Breast Cancer Center

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we know how important it is for you to have a team of expert clinicians focused exclusively on your breast cancer. At the Breast Cancer Center at CTCA® Philadelphia, our experts work under one roof, treating every stage and type of breast cancer, from HER2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer to inflammatory and metastatic breast cancer. We also stay up to date on the evolving landscape of breast cancer treatments. Your multidisciplinary care team members will combine their expertise and talents to offer you personalized treatment options based on your specific cancer type, stage and your goals for post-treatment reconstruction.

Your breast cancer treatment options may include surgical procedures, such as lumpectomy, mastectomy, and oncoplastic and breast reconstructive surgery. Other options may include chemotherapy, before or after surgery, and radiation therapy, using advanced technologies such as intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy. Some patients may also be candidates for targeted therapy or hormone therapy.

The Breast Cancer Center also offers qualified patients advanced genomic testing that may identify breast cancer treatment options not previously considered. This diagnostic tool may identify certain DNA mutations that may be matched with treatment options designed to target those mutations. Your oncologist will help determine if you are a good candidate for genomic testing. We also offer genetic testing, as well as a wide range of screening and prevention programs.

Our Breast Cancer Center doctors

Sramila Aithal - Hematologist-Oncologist & Medical Oncologist

Sramila Aithal

Hematologist & Medical Oncologist, CTCA Philadelphia

Steven B. Standiford - Past Chief of Staff & Surgical Oncologist

Steven B. Standiford

Past Chief of Staff & Surgical Oncologist, CTCA Philadelphia

John G. Fernandez - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

John G. Fernandez

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, CTCA Philadelphia

Shayma Master Kazmi - Hematologist-Oncologist & Medical Oncologist

Shayma Master Kazmi

Medical Oncologist & Hematologist, CTCA Philadelphia

Curt Heese - Radiation Oncologist

Curt J. Heese

Radiation Oncologist, CTCA Philadelphia

David Suh - Radiation Oncologist

David Suh

Radiation Oncologist, CTCA Philadelphia

Valeria Weiss - Physician Assistant

Valeria Weiss

Physician Assistant, CTCA Philadelphia

Bijal Parikh - Physician Assistant

Bijal Parikh

Physician Assistant, CTCA Philadelphia

Melanie Corbman - Manager, Clinical Genetics, Licensed Certified Genetic Counselor

Melanie Corbman

Manager, Clinical Genetics, CTCA Philadelphia

Scott Price - Vice Chair, CTCA Department of Radiology

Scott Price

Vice Chair, CTCA Department of Radiology

Steven C. Wagner - Interventional Radiologist

Steven C. Wagner

Interventional Radiologist, CTCA Philadelphia

Rebecca Heintzelman - Blood Bank Medical Director

Rebecca Heintzelman

Blood Bank Medical Director, CTCA Philadelphia

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A comprehensive team approach

At the Breast Cancer Center at CTCA Philadelphia, our multidisciplinary cancer experts work together toward a single mission—treating breast cancer patients with precise, personalized and comprehensive care. Each Breast Cancer Center care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a care manager or nurse navigator, who helps track your appointments, follows up on tests and answers your medical questions. Your care team may also include a breast surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with advanced training in helping patients restore function and return to a natural appearance. Our oncologists and pathologists are trained in advanced tools designed to diagnose and treat different breast cancer types. Fertility preservation may also be available for some patients.

To help maintain your quality of life during treatment, your care team may recommend a number of evidence-informed supportive therapies, such as nutrition therapy, psychosocial support, physical and rehabilitation therapy, lymphedema management tools, prosthetics and pain management. The entire team works together with a whole-person focus, which is at the heart of the Breast Cancer Center's dedication to comprehensive, personalized care. After treatment is complete, our survivorship support team is available to help you manage your risk of recurrence and address late and long-term side effects of treatment.

Breast reconstruction

Plastic and Reconstruction Surgeon John Fernandez, MD, FACS, leads the breast reconstruction program at CTCA Philadelphia. Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Fernandez completed two clinical fellowships at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City—in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and in microvascular and reconstructive surgery. A dedicated researcher, Dr. Fernandez has published studies and abstracts on plastic and reconstructive surgery in several medical journals, including The FASEB Journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

When treating breast reconstruction patients, Dr. Fernandez collaborates closely with Surgical Oncologist Steven Standiford, MD, FACS. Fellowship-trained as a researcher and surgical oncologist, Dr. Standiford has been awarded grants to study breast and colon cancer, as well as breast cancer prevention. Their multidisciplinary approach is designed to deliver quality outcomes for patients undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction. Drs. Fernandez and Standiford also work closely to deliver innovative oncoplastic techniques for patients who choose breast-conservation surgery.

Because changes to each patient’s body may raise concerns about sexuality and femininity, the patient’s care team may include clinicians who offer a wide range of supportive care therapies. The mind-body therapists, oncology rehabilitation providers, licensed dietitians, spiritual counselors and other clinicians on the Breast Cancer Center team are available to offer advice, resources and therapies to support each patient’s overall well-being and quality of life.

High-risk program

The High-Risk Program at CTCA Philadelphia provides screening, education and structured surveillance for women and men who are at an increased risk for cancer based on hereditary factors.

The program offers patients an individualized assessment that may include:

  • Discussing potential cancer risks with a genetic counselor
  • Developing a care plan for screening and prevention
  • Determining a care plan, if necessary, with a nurse practitioner, breast surgeon, gynecologic oncologist and/or plastic surgeon
  • Scheduling screening and/or surgery, if necessary

The High-Risk Program provides patients with an in-depth evaluation, incorporating individually tailored counseling in genetics and risk management. It also offers patients information about prophylactic steps designed to lower the risk of cancer and provides them with up-to-date information on risk-reducing surgery. Screening and prevention steps may include:

  • Breast cancer screening starting at age 25 for women with BRCA mutations with biannual clinical breast exams, annual mammograms and an annual breast MRI
  • Prophylactic oophorectomy (ovary removal surgery) by age 35 for women with BRCA1 mutations
  • Prophylactic oophorectomy by age 40 for women with BRCA2 mutations
  • Consideration of a prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction for all women with BRCA mutations

The High-Risk Program at our Philadelphia hospital is led by Clinical Genetics Manager Melanie Corbman, MS, LCGC. Corbman serves on the adjunct faculty and the advisory board for Arcadia University's Genetic Counseling Master’s Program and is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Corbman also works with FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), a national support group for individuals with hereditary risk for breast and ovarian cancer. 

Genetic testing

At CTCA Philadelphia, the experts in our Department of Genetics offer education, counseling and testing to qualified patients, to determine whether their cancer was caused by an inherited gene mutation. This information may inform us as to whether the patient is at an increased risk of developing a second cancer. Our program also offers options to reduce the risk of other cancers, when clinically appropriate.

"I can’t say enough about the amazing team of nurses and doctors who cared for me during that time. The surgical oncologist and plastic surgeon came to see me first thing every morning. The nurses and clinicians were so helpful and caring during my time as an inpatient."

Amy Watson

Amy W.

Breast Cancer

MORE ABOUT AMY

More About AMY

Breast cancer clinical trials

CTCA is committed to offering innovative treatment options, including carefully selected clinical trials in targeted therapy. Clinical trials are an essential part of measuring the effectiveness of treatments before they are granted government approval. Trials may offer some patients options that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Clinical trials Q&A

Who may benefit from breast cancer clinical trials?

Each breast cancer patient is considered on a case-by-case basis. This is a time of rapid scientific advances in breast cancer treatment. A new generation of breast cancer therapies is being developed to attack tumors that have specific genomic mutations. These targeted treatments may be more effective and cause fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. But they are so specialized that only a limited subset of breast cancer patients qualifies for participation. Genomic tumor testing may determine whether you are a candidate. Other factors—such as your cancer mutations and stage, how you have responded to past treatments and other individual considerations—may also determine whether you qualify for specific trials.

Are they only available to breast cancer patients who have exhausted other treatment options?

Breast cancer patients may qualify to participate in a clinical trial at any stage of their treatment journey. Some patients may join a clinical trial when they first start treatment, in conjunction with standard therapy, on the chance it may offer better results. Other trials are designed for breast cancer patients who have not responded adequately to conventional treatments. Your Breast Cancer Center oncologist may discuss the options and risks, and explain the various protocols involved.

How does CTCA select the breast cancer trials it offers?

At CTCA, our experts are always searching for innovative ways to treat breast cancer. Offering carefully selected clinical trials when appropriate helps us fulfill that mission. The new generation of precision drugs is generally designed to deliver more targeted, less toxic therapies. Our oncologists decide to participate as a clinical trial site only after careful consideration of the relative benefit to patients.

How do I find out whether a specific breast cancer clinical trial may benefit me?

Your Breast Cancer Center oncologist and care team may recommend a trial depending on your individual needs and treatment goals. For general questions, contact an Oncology Information Specialist at 888-841-9129.

Where we are located

CTCA Philadelphia

Breast Cancer Center
1331 E. Wyoming Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19124

New Patients: 888-552-6760
Existing Patients: (215) 607-CTCA

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A team of experts centered on your treatment, caring for the whole person.

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Offering clinical trials on new and emerging cancer treatment options.

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