A breast cancer diagnosis comes with many medical terms used by doctors to describe the specific type of breast cancer as well as its location, stage, and hormone status.
Our team of cancer specialists is here to help you through the diagnosis and treatment process. We will answer questions you may have and explain your treatment options so you can feel empowered when it comes to making informed decisions about your health.
Any abnormalities found during a screening mammogram will require further images and possibly a biopsy. A biopsy is the removal of breast tissue to determine if cancer cells are present. It is the only way to confirm a breast cancer diagnosis. The sample removed from your breast will be examined by a pathologist who will record the findings in a pathology report. Your oncologists will use this report to help determine the best next steps.
Breast cancer is broadly classified as invasive or non-invasive, as well as based on where it originated in the breast.
Breast cancer cells are also tested for hormone receptors as well as the HER2 protein. If the cells test positive for one or more of these receptors or the HER2 protein, it will guide the oncologist’s recommendations for treatment. If the test results are negative for all three, called triple-negative breast cancer, your oncologist will most likely take a different approach to treatment.
Oncologists use various data points about the cancer to determine the extent or stage of breast cancer. Each stage, ranging from 0 to IV, is classified based on factors like tumor size, lymph node involvement, and spread.
The grade of breast cancer is also established, which tells the oncologist how quickly the cancer is likely to grow.
There are many methods of treating breast cancer available today. Your breast cancer specialist will consider your specific diagnosis, its stage, type, and hormone status or HER2 status before recommending treatment. They'll also work with you to determine the best treatment plan based on your personal preferences. This might include one or more of these options:
The breast cancer specialists at Shenandoah Oncology are committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to our patients. We offer the latest in breast cancer treatments, including clinical trials for eligible patients close to home.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, request an appointment with one of our breast cancer specialists today. We are located in Winchester, Virginia, and we see patients from the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, West Virginia, and Western Maryland.