Breast Cancer Treatment
The Overlake Cancer Center is your best choice for compassionate, close-to-home breast cancer treatment. Our multi-disciplinary team will work with you and your doctor to provide a treatment plan that is unique to you and your needs.
Our team includes oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists, as well as specially trained nurses, dieticians, physical therapists, social workers and anyone else needed to ensure that you are getting the best care possible. A patient navigator will be with you during every part of your treatment.
At your first visit, you will be meet your care team at our Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic, where your appointments with each specialist will be scheduled back-to-back for a more convenient and seamless experience. From there, your team will develop a cohesive and personalized care plan for you and your support system with clear next steps. At the Overlake Cancer Center, you have an array of treatment choices. With guidance from your oncologist, you may decide to have surgery and/or chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Other options for breast cancer treatment include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell or bone marrow transplant, and hormone therapy.
Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene sometimes choose to have preventive surgery because they are at greater risk of developing breast cancer. Overlake’s affiliation with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center means our patients have access to clinical trials that are paving the way for the future of breast cancer care. And, our support groups can introduce you to other patients who will share their breast cancer experiences.
After you have completed treatment, your health will be carefully followed to ensure treatment was effective. Along the way, your patient navigator will always be available to answer any questions you may have.
If you would like more information about how the Overlake Cancer Center team can provide you with cutting-edge, compassionate care for breast cancer, please call us at (425) 635-3400.
Chemotherapy (chemo) uses anti-cancer drugs that travel through the bloodstream to reach and eradicate cancer cells. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is a constantly evolving treatment with new drugs and more effective combinations of drugs being introduced all the time. Rest assured that you will find the latest and best chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer at the Overlake Cancer Center.
Not all women with breast cancer will need chemo, but there are several situations where it may be recommended:
- After surgery: To lower the risk of breast cancer coming back by killing any cancer cells that might have been left behind or spread to other parts of the body.
- Before surgery: To shrink a tumor so it can be more easily removed. Chemo prior to surgery can also lower the risk of breast cancer coming back.
- For advanced breast cancer: As the main treatment to address disease that has spread outside the breast and underarm area
Chemo for breast cancer is typically given into a vein (IV), either as an injection over a few minutes or as an infusion over a longer period of time. A serene, comfortable area has been set aside at the Overlake Cancer Center for you to receive chemotherapy. Experienced nurses and other healthcare providers will help you with any side effects chemotherapy may cause.
For more information, please call the Overlake Cancer Center at (425) 635-3400.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. The Overlake Cancer Center has the latest equipment and techniques to deliver cutting-edge radiation treatment to breast cancer patients, some of whom will need radiation in addition to other treatments. For example, radiation may be used:
- After breast-conserving surgery, such as a lumpectomy, to help lower the chance that the cancer will return in the same breast or nearby lymph nodes.
- After a mastectomy, especially if the tumor was large or if cancer was found in several lymph nodes.
- If cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones or brain.
Radiation can be delivered from outside the body using a machine that focuses on the affected area, or it can be delivered internally. The areas that need “external beam” radiation depends on whether you had a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery and whether or not the cancer has affected nearby lymph nodes.
Internal radiation, also known as brachytherapy, uses a device containing radioactive seeds or pellets placed into the area where cancer has been removed. For some women who have had breast-conserving surgery, brachytherapy can be used by itself (instead of radiation to the whole breast) as a form of accelerated partial breast irradiation. Tumor size, location and other factors may limit who can get brachytherapy.
The Overlake Cancer Center has skilled radiology experts with years of experience ready to provide the safe and effective radiation therapy you need to treat your breast cancer.
For more information on how we help treat your breast cancer, please call the Overlake Cancer at (425) 635-3400.
Surgical options for treating breast cancer at the Overlake Cancer Center include lumpectomy, partial mastectomy or full mastectomy. A lumpectomy or partial mastectomy can be used to remove the cancer while preserving as much of the breast as possible. With a full mastectomy, the entire breast is removed and sometimes other nearby tissues. After surgery, your breast’s shape can be restored with a reconstruction operation.
Preventive surgery may be chosen by some women with a family history of breast cancer and who have been found to have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. These women are at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer. Genetic testing is available at Overlake to help answer any questions you may have about your own risk.
After your surgery and any other breast cancer treatment, your health will be carefully followed to ensure treatment was effective. Along the way, your patient navigator will always be available to answer any questions you may have.
If you would like more information about how the Overlake Cancer Center team can provide the most appropriate surgical options for treating your breast cancer, please call us at (425) 635-3400.