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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

CTCA Breast Cancer Center
in Chicago

"Achieving the designation as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence reflects our commitment to quality, and lets patients know they can be confident in the care they will receive. We are proud to offer innovative, evidence-based treatments to target cancer, coupled with patient-centered care that focuses on survivorship and quality of life."

Your treatment options

With so many treatment options available, breast cancer patients face many decisions. Because the experts at our Breast Cancer Center focus specifically on breast cancer, they have the experience to help you navigate the complexities of choosing a treatment plan tailored to your needs. With years of advanced training, our oncologists and other clinicians have expertise with the broad spectrum of diseases that fall under the label of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma, inflammatory, male, metastatic, HER 2-positive and triple-negative.

Our Breast Cancer Center offers a number of evidence-based clinical therapies for breast cancer patients. Depending on your specific diagnosis and individual needs, those treatments may include:


In 2017, the CTCA Breast Cancer Center in Chicago was recognized for the sixth year in a row as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program (NQMBC®), and remains the only center in Illinois with the designation. Learn more about what it means to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™.

breast cancer infographic 11-19-14

Our Breast Cancer Center experts

The breast cancer experts at the CTCA Breast Cancer Center in Chicago are committed to offering integrative, state-of-the-art treatments for breast cancer patients. The center is led by board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Stephen P. Ray, MD, FACS, DABMA, who has more than four decades of experience in oncology surgery of the breast, skin and soft tissues, including head and neck surgery.

Our Breast Cancer Center includes a number of other board-certified breast cancer experts, including Medical Oncologist Dennis Citrin, MD, who has more than three decades of cancer treatment experience; Surgical Oncologist and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon Miral Amin, MD, who incorporates the use of integrative medicine in helping improve outcomes for breast cancer patients; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Daniel Liu, MD, who is highly trained and experienced in breast reconstruction techniques, including microsurgical tissue transfer; and Radiation Oncologist Karen Smorowski, MD, a breast cancer survivor who has over 20 years of experience in treating breast cancer patients and is dedicated to patient-centered care.

In addition to the experts listed above, the Breast Cancer Center at CTCA in Chicago employs the expertise of many multidisciplinary teams consisting of board-certified and experienced medical oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, radiologists, pathologist and genetic counselor. Explore the menu below to learn more about our Breast Cancer Center experts.

A comprehensive team approach

The oncologists, surgeons and other doctors at the Breast Cancer Center are part of a wider team of multidisciplinary experts who understand that breast cancer is not one disease, and that no two patients have the same needs. Whether you are weighing decisions about lumpectomy vs. mastectomyfertility preservationbreast reconstructionfamily genetics or clinical trials, your Breast Cancer Center care team is committed to arming you with the information and resources to make educated decisions about your treatment. Your care team will be led by a medical oncologist with experience in breast cancer care, and your treatment plan will be coordinated by care managers dedicated to helping you handle the many details involved.

Other doctors and clinicians are assigned to your care team depending on your needs, treatment goals and side effects. For example, depending on your breast cancer type, stage and recommended treatment plan, your Breast Cancer Center team may include radiation and surgical oncologists and reconstructive plastic surgeons with advanced training in helping breast cancer patients restore their function and appearance. Clinicians with expertise in evidence-informed supportive therapies are also available, as part of the whole-person focus that is at the heart of the Breast Cancer Center’s dedication to comprehensive, personalized care. All these experts work together under one roof, collaborating daily, with one another and each patient, monitoring the patient’s progress and adjusting the treatment plan when appropriate.

Quality of life

Conventional treatments plus supportive therapies
Breast cancer patients may experience treatment-related side effects like lymphedema, fatigue, appetite loss, pain, mouth sores or nausea. Your care team of cancer experts may include dietitians, naturopathic providers, physical therapists, chiropractors, mind-body therapists, spiritual counselors and other supportive care clinicians to help you manage those side effects and maintain your strength, stamina and resilience, so you can reduce the risk of treatment delays.

Learn more about how integrative cancer care may help you manage your breast cancer journey.

Our medical oncologists and other CTCA Breast Cancer Center experts are committed to delivering advanced and innovative treatment options when possible. Offering qualified breast cancer patients carefully selected clinical trials in areas like immunotherapy, genomically targeted chemotherapy and other innovative research is an important part of that commitment. Clinical trials are not available to all patients. But those who qualify based on certain requirements may have access to emerging treatment options. Read our Clinical Trials Q&A to learn more. Find out about the various breast cancer trials being offered at CTCA.

Clinical trials Q&A

Who may benefit from breast cancer clinical trials?

The answer is based on a case-by-case analysis of each breast cancer patient’s situation. This is a time of rapid scientific advances in breast cancer treatment. New surgical techniques are being developed with a goal of attacking tumors while reducing the amount of trauma to healthy breast and other tissue. Meanwhile, a new generation of breast cancer therapies is designed to attack tumors that have specific genomic mutations, such as too much HER2, mTOR, CDK4 and CDK6. These new 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 patients qualifies for participation. Genomic tumor testing may determine whether you are a candidate. Other factors—such as your cancer type and stage, how you have responded to past treatments and other individual considerations—may also determine whether you qualify for specific breast cancer 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 for breast cancer, on the chance it may offer improved outcomes. Other trials are designed for patients who have not responded adequately to conventional treatments. Your oncologist will discuss the options and risks, and explain the various protocols involved.

How does CTCA select the breast cancer trials it offers?

At CTCA, our cancer experts never stop searching for innovative ways to treat cancer. Offering carefully selected breast cancer clinical trials helps us fulfill that mission. The new generation of precision drugs is generally designed to deliver more targeted, less toxic therapies. Our Breast Cancer Center 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 oncologist and Breast Cancer Center care team may recommend a trial depending on your individual needs and treatment goals. Learn more about ongoing breast cancer clinical trials at CTCA. For general questions, contact an Oncology Information Specialist at 888-841-9129.

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