Treatment of Breast Cancer

Many factors are used in determining what treatment is right for each patient with breast cancer, and there are many variables to take into consideration. These variables include pathologic factors, such as the tumor type, tumor grade, tumor stage, and tumor expression of predictive and prognostic biomarkers such as ER, PR and Her2. In addition, these variables also include clinical factors, such as the patient age, personal and family history of breast cancer, and functional status. No two patients are exactly the same, and the treatment decisions are made between the patient and the clinical team. A given patient's treatment might include any combinations of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.

The treatment of breast cancer is truly a multidisciplinary team effort. Patient cases are often discussed at our weekly multidisciplinary Breast Tumor board, where the pathologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and oncologists meet to discuss patients and their treatment options. The clinical team may include surgeons to remove the breast cancer, radiation oncologists to radiate the breast or affected areas, and oncologists to oversee the chemotherapy or hormonal therapy decisions. In addition, plastic surgeons may also be involved to reconstruct the breast tissue if a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast tissue) is indicated for a patient. For more information about the treatment options offered at our center, please call The Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center at 443-287-BRST (2278).