Breast Cancer Treatment

More in this section:

When it's time to treat breast cancer, the number of treatment options may feel overwhelming. The staff at the Lutheran Comprehensive Breast Center will help guide you through your personalized treatment plan.

There are two main types of treatment for breast cancer: local and systemic treatments. Local treatments remove, destroy or control cancer cells in one area of the body using surgery and radiation. Systemic treatments destroy or control cancer cells throughout the whole body using chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Types of Treatment for Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. This treatment can be used to shrink a tumor before surgery. Or it may be used after surgery to kill cancer cells that may remain in the breast or chest area. Radiation may also be used to treat tumors in other areas of the body. For breast cancer patients, advanced technology combined with deep inspiration breath hold therapy can reduce patients' risks of heart damage. Lutheran Hospital is the first and only hospital in the region to offer breast intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT).

Chemotherapy uses powerful medicines to kill cancer cells throughout the body. It may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery or used to kill any cancer cells that remain after local treatments. It's often used along with hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy stops the growth of cancer cells that rely on certain hormones. It can be delivered in two ways: medications or by removing the ovaries. Hormone therapy may be used after surgery to decrease the chance of breast cancer from coming back, or a new cancer growing.