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Breast disease care and surgery

Whether you have breast disease or breast cancer, our team of experts will empower you and partner with you every step of the way. 


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.

Our Imaging Center for Breast Health offers a wide range of services, including mammograms (breast X-rays) in private rooms and quick results. And our high-risk breast program offers specialized care to patients with greater chances of having breast disease.

If you have questions that aren't addressed here, or if you'd like to set up an appointment with our breast disease expert, Kory Jones, MD, call us at 1-817-275-3309.

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Frequently asked questions about breast disease and breast cancer

  • 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 cancer markers. This means you have greater chances of getting breast cancer, the most serious form of breast disease.

    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. 

  • See your doctor right away if you notice a change when you do your monthly breast self-exam. For example, 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.

  • A physical exam, mammogram 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. Your doctor will also ask if there's a family history of breast cancer.

    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 that's filled with fluid, it may need to be drained. If breast cancer is found, there are many treatment options to think about. It’s important to talk with your doctor and choose the best treatment plan for you.

  • Breast cancer happens when too many cancer cells grow and form a tumor in the breast tissue. Your doctor will work with you to find the right care plan for you.

    There is no known way to stop someone from getting breast cancer. There are some things you can do to help lower your chances for getting it, such as:

    • Eat foods that are low in fat
    • Don't smoke
    • Don't drink alcohol
    • Watch your body weight and get exercise

    If you're someone with a greater chance of getting breast cancer, your doctor may suggest having surgery to remove one or both breasts before you get cancer. Talk to your doctor about other ways you may stop breast cancer and what the right path is for you.

  • A common way breast cancer is found is by someone feeling a lump that's not usually there. Breast exams are an important way to find breast lumps and breast cancer early. It's common for someone to have no symptoms with breast cancer. 

    Regular breast exams raise your chances of finding breast cancer early. If it's found early and treated, you're more likely to heal and get better.

    Other breast cancer symptoms can include:

    • Swelling in the breast area
    • Dimples or skin changes like flakiness in the breast area
    • Pain in the breast or nipple area
    • Change in nipples that’s not normal
    • If a discharge or liquid that’s not normal comes out of the breast
    • Swelling in the lymph nodes 

    These symptoms can happen for other reasons besides cancer. If you have symptoms like those listed above, you should talk to your provider to find out the reason.

  • In the United States, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer. Those with greater chances of getting it include:

    • Women are more likely to get breast cancer than men
    • Older people 
    • Those with a history of breast cancer or breast disease
    • Those with a family history of breast cancer 
    • Black women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women

    Learn more about risk factors for breast cancer.

  • How we care for breast cancer depends on many factors: 

    • Type of cancer
    • Size of the cancer
    • Where the cancer is found in the body 
    • Stage of cancer 


    Your doctor will work with you to find the right care plan for you. Examples of treatment include:

    • Surgery to remove cancer 
    • Chemotherapy (using medication to make the cancer smaller or to kill cancer cells)
    • Radiation (using X-rays to kill cancer cells)  
    • Targeted therapy (using drugs to stop cancer cells from growing and spreading)
    • Hormone therapy (using hormones, which are natural chemicals in the body that help it work, or medications that block hormones to kill cancer cells)
    • Immunotherapy (using the body’s immune system, which naturally fights illness)
  • 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.

  • 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 see if the disease has spread

    MRI and genetic testing help guide the decisions you and your doctor make about your treatment.

  • Nonsurgical treatments can be done instead of or in addition to 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 tumor to check for the spread of cancer)

    Surgical options to treat breast cancer include:

    • Lumpectomy (removing the tumor — a cancerous growth — and tissue around it)
    • Mastectomy (removing the entire breast and cancer with it)

    Our doctors use the Hidden Scar™ technique during breast surgery. It reduces the appearance of scars and does away with the long scars left by a radical mastectomy and lumpectomy. Incisions (small cuts) are made in areas where they will heal well and barely be seen.

    After a mastectomy, some women have reconstructive surgery to rebuild and restore the appearance of the breast.

  • Thanks to major advances 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 or stage 2 breast cancer are good candidates for a lumpectomy. Women generally also have radiation therapy after a lumpectomy to promote long-term survival.

  • Tumors larger than five centimeters are generally treated with a mastectomy. A mastectomy may also be needed for patients with:

    • Multicentric breast cancer
    • Inflammatory breast cancer
    • A strong family history or genetic mutations
  • We'll 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'll generally see your doctor for at least five years following a mastectomy. Some patients will see their doctor regularly for the rest of their lives.