Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer

Treatments and Services for Breast Cancer

Englewood Health uses innovative treatments to manage breast cancer and its symptoms.

Our doctors examine the unique genetic features of breast cancers to match them with treatments that are most likely to succeed. Your personalized treatment plan may include:

Breast Surgery

Our surgeons skillfully perform several procedures to remove breast lumps or tumors, including:

  • Lumpectomy: Also known as a partial mastectomy, lumpectomy removes small tumors and spares breast tissue.
  • Mastectomy:  Complete removal of the breast, with or without nipple sparing
  • Reconstructive surgery: Our surgeons perform several reconstruction procedures, such as oncoplastic reconstruction and breast reduction for lumpectomy patients and implants or tissue flaps for mastectomy patients.

Breast Radiation Therapy

In some cases, doctors use radiation therapy along with other treatments to best manage breast cancers. This treatment focuses high-energy particles onto breast cancer cells, destroying them.

For breast radiotherapy, Englewood Health uses advanced technologies and techniques not available in most centers. A real-time surface monitoring system, known as Vision-RT®, enables continuous tracking of the patient’s breast throughout treatment. If a patient moves or coughs, treatment is automatically stopped until they are repositioned.

Specific techniques can also be used to protect the heart. For example, in DIBH (deep inspiration breath hold) technique, used for left-sided breast irradiation, the patient takes a deep breath in and holds it for 10-15 seconds, increasing separation of the heart and chest wall.

Medical Treatments for Breast Cancer

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses certain drugs to kill cancer cells. We match your chemotherapy medications to breast tumors using genomic assays. These tests look for certain genetic markers which make breast cancers more likely to respond to chemotherapy. Our use of gene panels helps decision making for the use of chemotherapy. Based on these tests, we are using less chemotherapy for the same stage of tumor compared to the past, allowing our patients to achieve excellent outcomes with fewer side effects.
  • Hormone therapy: In some cases, hormones in the body affect breast cancers. Medical oncologists often suggest hormone therapy after surgery to help prevent breast cancer from returning.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy harnesses the power of your body’s immune system to attack and kill cancer cells. Our breast cancer specialists actively participate in clinical trials studying the effects of immunotherapy on breast cancer and to help patients with triple negative breast cancer.
  • Targeted therapy: An innovative new treatment, targeted therapies use new medications to stop the growth or spread of breast cancer cells.

Managing Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Some cancer treatments cause unpleasant side effects, such as fatigue or nausea. Our cancer care team understands how negatively these side effects can impact your quality of life. We work closely with our palliative care team to find medications and other therapies to manage treatment side effects so you can stay strong.

Hair loss from breast cancer treatment also concerns most people. Our breast cancer specialists use the newest techniques to help preserve as much of your hair as possible. Our outpatient chemotherapy infusion center features specialized scalp cooling systems to shrink hair follicles. This helps prevent hair loss during your treatment.

New Therapies Through Clinical Trials

Our specialists participate in many clinical trials examining new therapies and treatments for breast cancer. Englewood Health is currently the only site in Bergen County enrolling patients in the Comparison of Operative to Monitoring and Endocrine Therapy (COMET) study. This clinical trial is evaluating a watchful waiting approach as treatment for women diagnosed with low-risk ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This trial may help us discover whether we can avoid more intensive treatments, such as surgery, for these types of breast cancers.

For other clinical trials, see our clinical research page.

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