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Breast cancer remains a significant concern for many women, as one in eight will face a diagnosis in her lifetime. However, a diagnosis doesn't signify an end but rather a new journey filled with choices, treatments, and support.
Comprehensive care at MedStar Health.
MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute is a beacon of hope for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Backed by national accreditation, our services harmoniously blend cutting-edge treatments with an empathetic, individualized approach. Our team is comprehensive, from experts specializing in breast oncology, radiation, and surgery, to genetics and rehabilitation. Our affiliation with the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center— a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center— bolsters our commitment to research and innovative treatments.
We prioritize our patients' convenience with multiple locations spread across the Washington, D.C., and Maryland region, emphasizing person-centered care rather than a singular disease focus.
Recognizing the symptoms.
Breast cancer can be elusive, sometimes presenting without symptoms. Yet, any new or unusual change in the breast, from pain and lumps, to nipple discharges, warrants attention. It's imperative to consult a doctor for any abnormalities.
However, understanding breast cancer's risk factors, like family history, age, and exposure to certain elements, can make a difference. We provide an invaluable service through our High-Risk Breast Clinic, focusing on early detection and proactive disease management.
The importance of early detection.
Take our breast health quiz to learn if you are a candidate for a screening mammogram.
For a more holistic approach, adopting healthy behaviors—like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and limiting alcohol intake—can also play a pivotal role in minimizing risk.
Diagnosis and treatment.
Ensuring an accurate diagnosis is paramount for personalized treatment. Our comprehensive diagnostic process involves consultations, biopsies, and, if required, additional tests to understand the cancer's nature.
Breast cancer is diverse, ranging from non-invasive to metastatic forms, which underscores the importance of precise classification. We also delve deep into the cancer's hormone receptor and HER2 protein status, refining our treatment suggestions.
Once diagnosed, a range of treatments is available, many of which can be combined for the best outcomes. These include:
- Surgery: Almost every patient undergoes some surgical procedure, aiming to remove the tumor and evaluate the lymph nodes.
- Breast Reconstruction: We offer state-of-the-art procedures to restore patients' physical appearance after surgery.
- Chemotherapy: To control or eradicate cancer cells either pre or post-surgery.
- Targeted Therapy: Leveraging the immune system, targeted therapy is a more potent yet less harmful approach.
- Hormone Therapy: Especially beneficial for hormone receptor-positive cancers, this therapy modulates hormone levels to tackle cancer.
- Chemoprevention: For high-risk patients, chemoprevention can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by about 50%.
- Radiation Therapy: Used to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer, we offer a variety of radiation therapies, depending on the specific case.
Breast cancer is undoubtedly challenging, but with comprehensive care, innovative treatments, and a personalized approach, many patients can—and do—lead fulfilling lives post-diagnosis. At MedStar Health, we're here to guide you every step of the way. If you or a loved one is navigating this journey, remember: you're never alone.