Breast Cancer Treatment
A personalized treatment plan will be developed for you after your initial visit. Your care plan may include one or more of the following treatment options, depending on the type and stage of your cancer.
Chemotherapy and other drug regimens
Rush offers a full range of the latest cancer-fighting medications:
- Chemotherapy drugs, used before or after surgery, or as the main treatment in women whose breast cancer has spread beyond the breast. These drugs are usually given in combination and in cycles (a period of treatment followed by a period of rest).
- Hormonal therapies, including the following:
- Tamoxifen and toremifene (Fareston), anti-estrogen drugs that keep estrogen from attaching to cancer cells
- Letrozole (Femara), anastrozole (Arimidex) and exemestane (Aromasin), drugs that stop estrogen production in postmenopausal women
- Biological/targeted therapies, including the following:
- Monoclongal antibodies, such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), that target a specific growth-promoting protein (HER2) found in breast cancer cells
- Anti-angiogenesis drugs, such as bevacizumab (Avastin), that target the blood vessels that feed tumors and enable them to grow
Breast cancer patients at Rush are treated by a member of the radiation oncology team who focuses on breast cancer; this focus gives physicians a unique understanding of how to most effectively treat breast cancers using the options available at Rush, which include external beam radiation, accelerated breast irradiation, 3-D conformal radiotherapy and breast brachytherapy.
At Rush, we believe that breast-sparing surgery should be considered for all of our patients. But if you decide that mastectomy is your best option, you can choose to have immediate breast reconstruction using the latest surgical techniques. Your care team will discuss all of the options with you and help you decide which one is right for you.
Learn your risk
If you have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, Rush can help you learn whether you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations that increase your risk of these cancers. Learn more about the Rush Inherited Susceptibility to Cancer (RISC) Program and whether genetic testing may be right for you.
Rush welcomes patients seeking second opinions. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may want to get a second opinion from another specialist before you begin treatment to ensure you are aware of all treatment options and are comfortable with your course of treatment.
Complementary and alternative medicine
Rush offers complementary and alternative medicine therapies through the Cancer Integrative Medicine Program. These therapies, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery and massage, can enhance traditional cancer treatments by easing muscle tension, reducing stress and anxiety, decreasing nausea, relieving pain and increasing energy.
To schedule an appointment, call (888) 352-RUSH (7874).