The team of experts at IU Health Cancer Centers is focused on providing patients an effective, personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. Along with breast surgery, the multi-disciplinary team may include a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist as part of the individualized patient care plan.
Because our highly skilled physicians specialize in breast cancer, we have the expertise to treat cancers that are rare and aggressive—with our surgical expertise, we can offer treatment for tumors that are sometimes considered too difficult to treat.
Many different treatment options available to patients. Some of the treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or radiation therapy. At IU Health, you and your physician will determine the types of treatments you receive. Your specific cancer type and your personal preferences are all a part of our discussions before you begin your treatment plan.
Chemotherapy (or “chemo”) uses cancer-killing drugs that are given intravenously (injected into a vein) or by mouth, and travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells. Chemo is given in cycles with a recovery period after each round of treatment. Your physician determines when and how often you receive chemo.
Hormones normally present in your body can affect the growth of breast cancer. Hormone therapy is used to treat both early and advanced breast cancer. It works by slowing or blocking the body’s ability to produce hormones.
Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets specific characteristics of your cancer cells. Targeted therapy works to block the growth of cancer cells without harming normal cells. This is done through targeting a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells.
Radiation is a targeted and highly effective way to destroy cancer cells in the breast that may remain after surgery. We can target breast tumors and areas with cancer cells using highly focused radiation. Another treatment method places the radiation source directly into the cancerous area reducing damage to surrounding tissue.
A clinical trial is a research study that patients with a high risk of cancer or diagnosis of the disease can participate in. Clinical trials help physicians find ways to improve healthcare and cancer treatment. Participating in a trial as a patient is often a way to be among the first treated with a new approach for cancer. Each study tries to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer, as well as improve quality of life for cancer survivors. IU Health offers many types of clinical trials; talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial might be right for you.
Side effects vary by treatment type and by person, so you cannot predict exactly how it will affect you. Side effects can include symptoms such as hair loss, fatigue, and numbness. Our comprehensive team at IU Health is here to provide you with the resources and support you need throughout treatment.