Breast Cancer

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

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

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. There are several different types of breast cancer that develop from 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

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. There are specific medications designed to treat these cancers.

There are also cancers known as Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Her2neu positive. These cancers are treated differently. With access to the most resources in Indiana, the breast cancer team at IU Health Cancer Centers evaluate the unique makeup of cancer in an individual.

Understanding Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, it can also occur in men. There are several different types of breast cancer that develop from 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

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. There are specific medications designed to treat these cancers.

There are also cancers known as Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Her2neu positive. These cancers are treated differently. With access to the most resources in Indiana, the breast cancer team at IU Health Cancer Centers evaluate the unique makeup of cancer in an individual.

Your individual breast cancer journey requires a team of specialized experts by your side. With access to the most resources in the state, the breast cancer team at IU Health Cancer Centers evaluate the unique makeup of your cancer to develop the best treatment plan for you. And through the partnership with the IU School of Medicine, you'll have access to advanced treatment options that others don't, making sure you get the right care for you.

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. With access to the most resources in the state, the breast cancer team at IU Health Cancer Centers evaluate the unique makeup of your cancer to develop the best treatment plan for you. And through the partnership with the IU School of Medicine, you'll have access to advanced treatment options that others don't, making sure you get the right care for you.

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 to help find breast cancer in the earliest stages and locate cancer that may have spread to other areas of the body.

Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms

The expert team at IU Health Cancer Centers recommends that at the age of 40, women at average risk should talk to their primary care provider to see when they should begin screening mammograms. Women ages 50-74 should have screening mammograms every other year unless otherwise discussed with their primary care provider.

Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Screening

A breast ultrasound may be used in combination with a mammogram, particularly in dense breasts, to greatly increase 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 to help find breast cancer in the earliest stages and locate cancer that may have spread to other areas of the body.

    Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms

    The expert team at IU Health Cancer Centers recommends that at the age of 40, women at average risk should talk to their primary care provider to see when they should begin screening mammograms. Women ages 50-74 should have screening mammograms every other year unless otherwise discussed with their primary care provider.

    Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Screening

    A breast ultrasound may be used in combination with a mammogram, particularly in dense breasts, to greatly increase 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:

      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 gathering test results and discussing all of your treatment options with your IU Health breast cancer physician, you will be able to identify what treatment plan is best for you.

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

      When to begin treatment is based on the results of your specific breast cancer, 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:

      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 gathering test results and discussing all of your treatment options with your IU Health breast cancer physician, you will be able to identify what treatment plan is best for you.

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

      When to begin treatment is based on the results of your specific breast cancer, 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.

      Because our highly skilled physicians specialize in breast cancer, we have the expertise to treat cancers 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. See what to expect during radiation oncology.
      • 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.

      Because our highly skilled physicians specialize in breast cancer, we have the expertise to treat cancers 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. See what to expect during radiation oncology.
      • 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 looking for the newest ways to treat and prevent cancer through clinical trials, 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 looking for the newest ways to treat and prevent cancer through clinical trials, research and collaboration with organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and Hoosier Oncology Group.

      Nov 02

      Technology improving the fight against breast cancer

      A lesser-known side effect of radiation treatment is a sunburn-like reaction on the areas of the body where the radiation is targeted. “It’s a sunburn like you’ve never had,” shares IU Health Arnett senior public relations coordinator Rhonda Jones, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Part of her treatment included seven weeks of radiation. "Every day for 15 minutes, and you think, ‘15 minutes, that's no big deal’ ... but it's exhausting," shares Jones. IU Health Arnett now has new technology that more effectively delivers radiation to targeted areas of the body. The linear accelerator at the Arnett Cancer Center, the most advanced linear accelerator in the state, delivers radiation treatments in less than half the time as previous radiation technology in some cases and with greater precision—meaning faster cancer treatment and reduced side effects. Doctors can now cut what was once seven weeks of radiation down to three. Jones, who underwent radiation before the linear accelerator was available in Lafayette, shares firsthand insights on what this technology really means to patients with breast cancer. More than 95% of breast cancers can be treated and cured with early detection. Read more about mammography options and other technological advances

      Technology improving the fight against breast cancer image.

      Patient Stories for Breast Cancer

      Nov 02

      Technology improving the fight against breast cancer

      A lesser-known side effect of radiation treatment is a sunburn-like reaction on the areas of the body where the radiation is targeted. “It’s a sunburn like you’ve never had,” shares IU Health Arnett senior public relations coordinator Rhonda Jones, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Part of her treatment included seven weeks of radiation. "Every day for 15 minutes, and you think, ‘15 minutes, that's no big deal’ ... but it's exhausting," shares Jones. IU Health Arnett now has new technology that more effectively delivers radiation to targeted areas of the body. The linear accelerator at the Arnett Cancer Center, the most advanced linear accelerator in the state, delivers radiation treatments in less than half the time as previous radiation technology in some cases and with greater precision—meaning faster cancer treatment and reduced side effects. Doctors can now cut what was once seven weeks of radiation down to three. Jones, who underwent radiation before the linear accelerator was available in Lafayette, shares firsthand insights on what this technology really means to patients with breast cancer. More than 95% of breast cancers can be treated and cured with early detection. Read more about mammography options and other technological advances

      Technology improving the fight against breast cancer 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.