Breast Cancer

As Indiana's most trusted cancer center, we'll provide breast cancer treatment personalized for you

No matter where you are in your breast cancer journey, at Indiana's most preferred cancer center we take care of you at all stages.

At IU Health, we are known for leadership in prevention, early detection and advanced, personalized treatment of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, it can also occur in men. Several types of breast cancer can develop in different areas of the breast.

Breast cancer is typically found by a mammogram or felt as a lump. Breast cancers can grow slowly or quickly. Different tests can show your physician what breast cancer therapy is the best choice for you.

Types of Breast Cancer

Common Cancers 

The most common type of breast cancer is estrogen receptor positive. This term refers to the presence of receptors to which the hormone estrogen can attach and stimulate cancer to grow. Specific medications are designed to treat these cancers.

Rare Invasive Cancers

There are also less common forms of breast cancer. These types are typically treated differently because they're more invasive. Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Her2neu positive, and inflammatory breast cancer fall under this category. 

Understanding Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, it can also occur in men. Several types of breast cancer can develop in different areas of the breast.

Breast cancer is typically found by a mammogram or felt as a lump. Breast cancers can grow slowly or quickly. Different tests can show your physician what breast cancer therapy is the best choice for you.

Types of Breast Cancer

Common Cancers 

The most common type of breast cancer is estrogen receptor positive. This term refers to the presence of receptors to which the hormone estrogen can attach and stimulate cancer to grow. Specific medications are designed to treat these cancers.

Rare Invasive Cancers

There are also less common forms of breast cancer. These types are typically treated differently because they're more invasive. Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Her2neu positive, and inflammatory breast cancer fall under this category. 

Your individual breast cancer journey requires a team of specialized experts by your side. The breast cancer team at IU Health Cancer Centers has access to the most comprehensive resources in the state. This means we can evaluate the unique makeup of your cancer to develop the best treatment plan for you. Through partnership with IU School of Medicine, you'll have access to advanced treatment options, making sure you get the right care.

Because our physicians specialize in breast cancer, we have the expertise to treat our patients from diagnosis to treatment and through survivorship. At the most trusted cancer center in the state, our highly skilled team of specialists treat breast cancers that are non-complex, rare and aggressive and everything in between.

Watch: Amy's Breast Cancer Story

Comprehensive Care for Breast Cancer

Your individual breast cancer journey requires a team of specialized experts by your side. The breast cancer team at IU Health Cancer Centers has access to the most comprehensive resources in the state. This means we can evaluate the unique makeup of your cancer to develop the best treatment plan for you. Through partnership with IU School of Medicine, you'll have access to advanced treatment options, making sure you get the right care.

Because our physicians specialize in breast cancer, we have the expertise to treat our patients from diagnosis to treatment and through survivorship. At the most trusted cancer center in the state, our highly skilled team of specialists treat breast cancers that are non-complex, rare and aggressive and everything in between.

Watch: Amy's Breast Cancer Story

Early detection of breast cancer can increase a women's five-year survival rate to 97 percent. Throughout the state, IU Health Cancer Centers offers patients the latest in screening technology. We can help you find breast cancer in the earliest stages and locate cancer that may have spread to other areas of the body.

Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms

Experts at IU Health Cancer Centers recommend that at age 40, women at average risk should ask their primary care provider when they should begin screening mammograms. Women ages 50-74 should have a mammogram every other year unless otherwise discussed with their primary care provider.

Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Screening

In some cases, a breast ultrasound may be used in combination with a mammogram, particularly with dense breasts. This greatly increases the accuracy of breast cancer detection.

We are a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Find and schedule a mammogram near you or see full details on the screening options and what to expect before, during and after your mammogram.

Breast Cancer Screening

Early detection of breast cancer can increase a women's five-year survival rate to 97 percent. Throughout the state, IU Health Cancer Centers offers patients the latest in screening technology. We can help you find breast cancer in the earliest stages and locate cancer that may have spread to other areas of the body.

Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms

Experts at IU Health Cancer Centers recommend that at age 40, women at average risk should ask their primary care provider when they should begin screening mammograms. Women ages 50-74 should have a mammogram every other year unless otherwise discussed with their primary care provider.

Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Screening

In some cases, a breast ultrasound may be used in combination with a mammogram, particularly with dense breasts. This greatly increases the accuracy of breast cancer detection.

We are a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Find and schedule a mammogram near you or see full details on the screening options and what to expect before, during and after your mammogram.

If you’ve been diagnosed, you won’t be going through this alone. Our team of highly skilled physicians is here to guide you through your process with an individualized plan for your specific breast cancer diagnosis.

Your Treatment Team

We focus on personalized care for you. You may meet with any of the following people on your team including:

  • Breast surgeons
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Pathologists
  • Dietitians
  • Psychologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • Nurses

Explore where your patient care team is engaged at each step of the journey.

Breast Cancer Journey

Watch: What to Expect During Your First Visit

You've been diagnosed with breast cancer. What happens next?

Our specialists will:

  • Review your medical records, including your imaging results
  • Help answer any questions you or your family may have
  • Discuss treatment options to help you understand what may come next

Once your physician receives your test results, he or she will be able to share details of the location and stage of your cancer. These test results may include:

After receiving your test results, you can discuss treatment options with your IU Health breast cancer physician. Together, you can decide on the best treatment plan for you.

Your physician will explain all the treatment options available to you for your specific breast cancer. Based on those results, along with your personal preferences, you will decide on a treatment plan. This could include breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.

Deciding when to begin treatment is a very personal choice. This is based on your breast cancer diagnosis, and your personal preferences. When you and your physician identify the best treatment plan, you will also decide on when to begin it.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

If you’ve been diagnosed, you won’t be going through this alone. Our team of highly skilled physicians is here to guide you through your process with an individualized plan for your specific breast cancer diagnosis.

Your Treatment Team

We focus on personalized care for you. You may meet with any of the following people on your team including:

  • Breast surgeons
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Pathologists
  • Dietitians
  • Psychologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • Nurses

Explore where your patient care team is engaged at each step of the journey.

Breast Cancer Journey

Watch: What to Expect During Your First Visit

You've been diagnosed with breast cancer. What happens next?

Our specialists will:

  • Review your medical records, including your imaging results
  • Help answer any questions you or your family may have
  • Discuss treatment options to help you understand what may come next

Once your physician receives your test results, he or she will be able to share details of the location and stage of your cancer. These test results may include:

After receiving your test results, you can discuss treatment options with your IU Health breast cancer physician. Together, you can decide on the best treatment plan for you.

Your physician will explain all the treatment options available to you for your specific breast cancer. Based on those results, along with your personal preferences, you will decide on a treatment plan. This could include breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.

Deciding when to begin treatment is a very personal choice. This is based on your breast cancer diagnosis, and your personal preferences. When you and your physician identify the best treatment plan, you will also decide on when to begin it.

If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, schedule an appointment today with one of our highly skilled breast surgeons who will help you understand what may come next.

Schedule an Appointment

The team of experts at IU Health Cancer Centers is focused on providing patients an effective, personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. Along with breast surgery, your team may include a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist as part of your individualized care plan.

Our services are fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

We have the expertise to treat the most common breast cancers and those that are rare and aggressive.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Lumpectomy. Your surgeon will remove a lump through a tiny incision to preserve the shape of the breast.
  • Sentinel node biopsy. This minimally invasive surgical procedure is done for early-state patients with breast cancer to understand whether cancer has spread beyond a primary tumor.
  • Mastectomy. One of our highly skilled breast surgeons will complete one of five potential types of mastectomies—a simple or total mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy and subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy.
  • Chemotherapy. This treatment delivers cancer-killing drugs intravenously (injected into a vein) or by mouth.
  • Lymphedema. Patients with breast cancer who have a mastectomy or lumpectomy with lymph node dissection and radiation have a 30 percent higher chance of developing lymphedema. IU Health has the latest, most advanced lymphedema treatments and a highly skilled team of experts that you won't find anywhere else in the state.
  • Hormone therapy. Your body’s hormones can affect the growth of breast cancer. Hormone therapy works by slowing or blocking your body’s ability to produce hormones.
  • Targeted therapy. 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 oncology. Your radiation oncologist will target breast tumors and areas with cancer cells using highly focused radiation. 
  • Breast reconstruction. If you opt for breast reconstruction, you can choose immediate reconstructive surgery at the same time as your mastectomy or delayed reconstruction which occurs in a separate surgery after mastectomy.
  • Clinical trials. Participating in a trial as a patient is often a way to be among the first treated with a new approach for cancer. IU Health offers many types of clinical trials. Talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial might be right for you.

Watch: Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

Quality of Life

Your physician-led team uses innovative methods to combat your cancer, while providing comfort, support and the best quality of life for you during and after treatment.

Our physicians also have the skill and experience to treat very young patients and those with advanced and rare forms of breast cancer.

Personalized & Comprehensive Breast Cancer Treatment

The team of experts at IU Health Cancer Centers is focused on providing patients an effective, personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. Along with breast surgery, your team may include a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist as part of your individualized care plan.

Our services are fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

We have the expertise to treat the most common breast cancers and those that are rare and aggressive.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Lumpectomy. Your surgeon will remove a lump through a tiny incision to preserve the shape of the breast.
  • Sentinel node biopsy. This minimally invasive surgical procedure is done for early-state patients with breast cancer to understand whether cancer has spread beyond a primary tumor.
  • Mastectomy. One of our highly skilled breast surgeons will complete one of five potential types of mastectomies—a simple or total mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy and subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy.
  • Chemotherapy. This treatment delivers cancer-killing drugs intravenously (injected into a vein) or by mouth.
  • Lymphedema. Patients with breast cancer who have a mastectomy or lumpectomy with lymph node dissection and radiation have a 30 percent higher chance of developing lymphedema. IU Health has the latest, most advanced lymphedema treatments and a highly skilled team of experts that you won't find anywhere else in the state.
  • Hormone therapy. Your body’s hormones can affect the growth of breast cancer. Hormone therapy works by slowing or blocking your body’s ability to produce hormones.
  • Targeted therapy. 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 oncology. Your radiation oncologist will target breast tumors and areas with cancer cells using highly focused radiation. 
  • Breast reconstruction. If you opt for breast reconstruction, you can choose immediate reconstructive surgery at the same time as your mastectomy or delayed reconstruction which occurs in a separate surgery after mastectomy.
  • Clinical trials. Participating in a trial as a patient is often a way to be among the first treated with a new approach for cancer. IU Health offers many types of clinical trials. Talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial might be right for you.

Watch: Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

Quality of Life

Your physician-led team uses innovative methods to combat your cancer, while providing comfort, support and the best quality of life for you during and after treatment.

Our physicians also have the skill and experience to treat very young patients and those with advanced and rare forms of breast cancer.

Your team at IU Health is focused on providing the latest technology to help treat your breast cancer and provide the best care for you.

Our physician researchers across the state are continually working on the best ways to treat and prevent cancer. Innovation happens through clinical trials, and research and collaboration with organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and Hoosier Oncology Group.

Breast Cancer Research

Your team at IU Health is focused on providing the latest technology to help treat your breast cancer and provide the best care for you.

Our physician researchers across the state are continually working on the best ways to treat and prevent cancer. Innovation happens through clinical trials, and research and collaboration with organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and Hoosier Oncology Group.

Apr 03

Plastic surgeon helps breast cancer patient heal

Bloomington plastic surgeon Elizabeth Lucich, MD, helped Pamela Bryant move on post breast cancer treatment and an attempted reconstruction.

Plastic surgeon helps breast cancer patient heal image.

Patient Stories for Breast Cancer

Apr 03

Plastic surgeon helps breast cancer patient heal

Bloomington plastic surgeon Elizabeth Lucich, MD, helped Pamela Bryant move on post breast cancer treatment and an attempted reconstruction.

Plastic surgeon helps breast cancer patient heal image.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

The originators of the pink ribbon campaign, Susan G. Komen is active in education, research, advocacy and support for women with breast cancer. The website offers extensive resources and opportunities to take action in the fight against breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Foundation

The mission of the NBCF is to save lives through education and by providing mammograms for women who cannot afford them. The site offers information about breast cancer and provides opportunities to take action to help other women.

breastcancer.org

This non-profit website offers extensive, well-organized information about prevention and treatment of breast cancer. It also has a variety of support resources that allow you to connect with other women with similar experiences.

Resources

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

The originators of the pink ribbon campaign, Susan G. Komen is active in education, research, advocacy and support for women with breast cancer. The website offers extensive resources and opportunities to take action in the fight against breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Foundation

The mission of the NBCF is to save lives through education and by providing mammograms for women who cannot afford them. The site offers information about breast cancer and provides opportunities to take action to help other women.

breastcancer.org

This non-profit website offers extensive, well-organized information about prevention and treatment of breast cancer. It also has a variety of support resources that allow you to connect with other women with similar experiences.