If your mammogram indicates reason for concern, you will have a team in place to begin evaluating the problem and proposing solutions. The journey begins with a nurse navigator, who will act as your guide making appointments, answering questions, and steering you toward important and informative resources.
If breast cancer is diagnosed, your physician will work with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, nurses and technicians to establish the best treatment plan for you. Our Center for Breast Health offers a number of treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy.
Stages and Treatment
In a process called staging, tests will be performed to find out if cancer cells have spread within the breast or to other parts of your body. The information gathered from this process determines the stage of the disease. While this information is meant to act as a guideline to the various stages of breast cancer, it should not be used to self-diagnosis or self-prescribe treatment. Each stage must be treated differently, and your physician will personalize your treatment to ensure that you are receiving the right care.
Breast Cancer Surgery
The primary treatment for breast cancer is surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Today, women have many surgical options. Several types of breast surgery are available. Your doctor can explain the benefits and risks of each type, and answer any questions or concerns you may have prior to surgery. At the Center for Breast Health, we offer:
- Nipple and skin sparing surgery
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy
- Nipple and reconstruction via implant or tissue transfer (DIEP flap)
- In fact, CarePoint Health was the first and only in Hudson County to perform DIEP free flap breast reconstruction, and we are proud to offer this additional service to our patients. Surgical breast reconstruction offers the most natural-appearing result.
Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses chemical substances, especially one or more anti-cancer drugs, as part of a standardized regimen. It is one of the major categories of medical oncology and is often used in conjunction with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and/or surgery. Before determining if this treatment is right for you, tests are performed to see how well your body will respond. Chemotherapy can be administered orally or intravenously at one of our many infusion centers.
CarePoint Health’s radiation oncology offers external beam radiation therapy, which directs radiation to a specific part of the body through the use of a high-energy x-ray machine. This procedure is performed daily over the course of weeks or months, and is given as an outpatient treatment.
Hormone therapy is used to treat tumors that are sensitive to estrogen. This treatment prevents the growth, spread or recurrence of breast cancer by blocking your body’s natural hormones from reaching any remaining cancer cells. In addition to administering this treatment orally or intravenously, hormone therapy may include surgery to remove the ovaries or make them unable to produce hormones.
With advances in breast reconstruction surgery, many women undergoing breast removal (mastectomy) choose to have their breast(s) rebuilt. Even though medical, surgical and radiation therapy treatments for breast cancer have increased the number of breast-sparing procedures available, some breast cancer patients may still need a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction involves creating a breast mound, including reconstruction of the nipple, which comes as close as possible to the form and appearance of the natural breast.
You will be counseled on your breast reconstructive options prior to mastectomy so that you can make the decision for or against reconstruction before going into surgery. Based on your personal medical history, a recommendation will be made for either immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy or delayed reconstruction after the mastectomy is completed.
CarePoint Health has physicians and technicians who specialize in reconstruction of the breast. While we offer implants, muscle flaps, and free flap reconstruction (DIEP), our personalized treatment and attention will help determine what your best options are for reconstruction.
We understand that living with cancer can impact every area of your life, including your family, your job, and your mental and physical well-being. Our support services are designed to give you the best quality of life as you define it. We provide emotional and practical support services for patients living with cancer, family members, loved ones and caregivers.
You will have the opportunity to meet with a variety of experts including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, palliative care practitioners, physical rehabilitation specialists, and social workers, all with the goal of helping you identify the services that are best for you. Support services include:
- Emotional support and counseling
- Pain and symptom management
- Support groups
- Nutrition counseling
- American Cancer Society programs such as “I Can Cope” and “Look Good Feel Better”
Ask your doctor, nurse, or nurse navigator for information on any of these services.
Contact information includes:
Symptom Management and Palliative Care: 201.858.7695
Bayonne Medical Center: A general cancer support group meets on the second Wednesday of each month. Call 201.289.6927 for more information.
Christ Hospital: Please call 201.795.8081