Breast disease care and surgery
At USMD, we’re dedicated to helping you stay healthy. A big part of that means protecting breast health. Here, you’ll find a caring team of doctors, surgeons, nurses and treatment specialists.
We also offer a wide range of resources at our Imaging Center for Breast Health and through our high-risk breast program for patients with greater chances of having breast disease.
Whether you have breast disease or are facing breast cancer, we’re your team of allies to empower you and partner with you every step of the way.
See your doctor right away if you notice a change when you do your monthly breast self-exam. Your breasts may feel different. You may see changes in the skin on your breast. Or you might feel pain or an unusual sensation in your breast.
A change may not be a sign of anything, but it could be a sign of breast disease. It’s best to get it checked by a doctor.OR
Fibrocystic changes, benign tumors (noncancerous growths), infections, nipple discharge (liquid coming out) and any abnormal issues found in the breast are forms of breast disease.
Some types of breast disease aren’t serious. Others, such as atypical ductal hyperplasia, lobular hyperplasia and lobular carcinoma in situ, are considered cancer markers. With these kinds of markers, you have greater chances of getting breast cancer.
We keep a close eye on women who have these markers. We do more frequent screenings and physical exams as part of the high-risk breast program.
Breast cancer is the most serious form of breast disease.OR
A physical exam, a mammogram (breast X-ray) and biopsy (taking a sample of tissue from your body and testing it) help find most breast issues. The most important step is ruling out cancer.OR
Treatment depends on the type of breast disease. Sometimes changes in diet (what you eat) and getting more physical activity can help. If breast disease is caused by an infection, medications are used to clear it up.
If the breast has a cyst, the cyst may need fluid drained out. If breast cancer is found, there are many treatment options to think about. It’s important that you talk with your doctor to choose the best treatment plan for you.OR
Breast cancer happens when too many cancer cells grow in breast tissue. Your doctor will work with you to find the right care plan for you.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, how breast cancer is diagnosed and how you can lower your chances of getting it.OR
With breast cancer, often there is no pain and no symptoms. Experts say mammograms can show changes in the breast up to two years before a woman or her doctor can feel them. Finding breast cancer early can lower your chances of dying from the disease.OR
An exam with your doctor and an X-ray review are usually the next steps. Other steps may include:
- An MRI to learn more about what’s going on in your breast
- Genetic testing, depending on your medical or family history of breast disease or cancer
- More X-rays, to find out the scope of the disease
MRI and genetic testing help guide the decisions you and your doctor make about your treatment.OR
There are different surgical options to treat breast cancer:
- Lumpectomy (removing the tumor — a cancerous growth — and tissue around it)
- Mastectomy (removing the entire breast and cancer with it)
After a mastectomy, some women have reconstructive surgery to rebuild and restore the appearance of the breast.OR
USMD doctors do the Hidden Scar technique. This reduces the appearance of scars from a lumpectomy or mastectomy. The Hidden Scar technique does away with long scars left by a radical mastectomy and lumpectomy.
Incisions (a small cut or a series of small cuts) are made around the areola, under the breast or close to the armpit where they will heal well and barely be seen.OR
Thanks to major strides in early detection, breast conservation surgery provides very good results for women facing breast disease. A lumpectomy removes only the tumor and small part of breast tissue around it.
Women with stage 1 and stage 2 breast cancer are good candidates for a lumpectomy. Women generally also have radiation therapy after a lumpectomy to promote long-term survival.OR
Tumors larger than five centimeters are generally treated with a mastectomy. A mastectomy may also be needed for patients with:
- Multi-centric breast cancer
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- A strong family history or genetic mutations
We will partner with you through every step of your treatment, including after your surgery. Patients see their doctor to check for lymphedema or any other complications.
You will generally see your doctor for at least five years following a mastectomy. Some patients will see their doctor regularly for their entire life.OR
Other treatments may be done instead of or along with surgery:
- Chemotherapy (using medication to make the cancer smaller or to kill cancer cells)
- Radiation (using X-rays to kill cancer cells)
- Hormonal therapy (using hormones which are natural chemicals in the body that help it work or medications that block hormones to kill cancer cells)
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy (removing the lymph nodes closest to the breast cancer tumor to check for the spread of cancer)