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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is most common in women, but can also affect men. Often, it's detected after finding a lump in the breast or a noticeable change in the size, shape or skin of the breast. Mammograms are crucial for diagnosis, early detection and more effective treatments.

Breast cancer specialists in Virginia

We understand that a breast cancer diagnosis can be difficult, but we are here to help.

Throughout HCA Virginia Health System's network of hospitals, our multidisciplinary team provides access to breast cancer treatment and support. Whether you require breast cancer surgery, screenings or post-operative care, we are here for you.

When should you start breast cancer screenings?

The answer may vary. Use our online assessment to gain insight and determine breast cancer health risk factors.

The answer may vary. Use our online assessment to gain insight and determine breast cancer health risk factors.

Breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screening is one of the most proactive steps a woman can take in the early detection of breast cancer. Our hospitals offer a complete spectrum of breast imaging services, including:

  • 3D mammography
  • Breast density assessment
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Breast cancer treatment

Our multidisciplinary team of oncologists, nurses and doctors provide a range of comprehensive breast cancer services, including chemotherapy, hormone therapy and breast cancer surgery.

Breast cancer care

Our breast cancer team integrates education and support into your care to ensure you stay informed and comfortable throughout your cancer journey.

We offer a broad range of breast cancer services, including:

  • A breast imaging navigator and breast cancer nurse navigator
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Access to our American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Center
  • Genetic testing services to identify your risk for breast cancer
  • Lymphedema services
  • Oncology social workers
  • Rehabilitation services to help improve your quality of life
  • Spiritual support with an oncology-dedicated chaplain
  • Support groups to guide you on your cancer journey
  • Survivorship care plan and treatment summary

Breast cancer diagnosis

Our breast center staff will contact you with your screening results, as well as explain and schedule any additional diagnostic testing. A positive breast cancer diagnosis is found through a biopsy (an examination of the breast tissue). A breast biopsy tells your treatment team about the type of breast cancer you have and helps your physician determine the optimal individualized treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.

Types of breast cancer we treat

The two most common types of breast cancer are:

  • Ductal carcinoma — which occurs in the cells of the milk ducts
  • Lobular carcinoma — which occurs in the milk-producing glands, or lobules

Both types of breast cancer may be invasive (capable of spreading) or noninvasive. The most common type of breast cancer is noninvasive ductal carcinoma (DCIS).

While most often present in women, breast cancer can also occur in men. Less common subtypes of breast cancer include inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and triple-negative breast cancer. Breast cancer can return over time and may affect other sites in the body besides breast tissue.

Our breast cancer team

We take a breast cancer diagnosis seriously, and we aim to provide you with the best care possible. That's why we bring together a team of specialists to give you the specialized care you deserve. Our breast cancer team includes:

  • Breast and plastic surgeons
  • Breast cancer nurse navigators
  • Breast radiologists
  • Mammography and ultrasound technician
  • Medical and radiation oncologists

Breast cancer nurse navigators

Your breast cancer nurse navigator will work closely with you and your care team to ensure you understand all your options and receive the care, education and support you need. Your nurse navigator will also coordinate appointments with your care team and guide you through any further testing or high-risk counseling.

High-risk breast clinics

Henrico Doctors' Hospital and Johnston-Willis Hospital are home to a high-risk breast clinics. For women who have an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer, our clinics provide them with access to supplemental screenings to help detect the disease in its earliest stages.

Our breast health specialists work together to identify if you should be considered high risk and if you should consider supplemental screenings, such as:

  • Abbreviated breast magnetic resonance imaging (ABMRI)
  • Contrast mammogram (CEM)
  • Whole breast ultrasound

Breast cancer treatment we provide

We offer an array of treatment options for breast cancer that will help you get back to your family and everyday life. Through our partnership with Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, you will gain access to advanced breast cancer therapies and clinical trials.

Your breast cancer treatment plan may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
    • Aromatase inhibitors
    • Estrogen blockers
  • Radiation therapy
    • Accelerated partial breast irradiation
    • Brachytherapy
    • External beam therapy
    • Hypofractionated radiotherapy
    • Intensity modulated radiotherapy
    • Prone breast radiotherapy
  • Surgery
    • Axillary node dissection
    • Breast reconstructive surgery
    • Lumpectomy
    • Mastectomy
    • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

Learn more about the treatment options we offer for breast cancer.

Breast conserving surgery

Our skilled breast cancer surgeons and radiologists use an advanced radar localization system to precisely locate and guide the removal of the target tissue during a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy procedure.

This technology features radar to detect a reflector that is placed at the tumor site up to seven days before a procedure. During the procedure, the surgeon scans the breast using the system’s guide, which emits infrared light and a micro-impulse signal to detect the location of the reflector.

Real-time audible and visual indicators assist the surgeon in accurately locating the reflector, along with the target tissue. This higher level of precision allows the surgeon to plan a surgical approach that may result in a better cosmetic outcome than other methods.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (804) 591-4152.

Sarah Cannon Institute at HCA Virginia Health System hospitals

We are proud to join the leading network of experts from Sarah Cannon to create a new era of collaborative cancer care. Working together, we are redefining cancer care, so you can fight the disease where you get your greatest strength: in your own community, with the support of friends and family nearby.

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We also offer quality care at these other locations in our extended network.
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