The path to breast cancer treatment begins with a thorough and accurate diagnosis. As a surgical breast oncologist, I am committed to providing a detailed evaluation process that not only focuses on identifying the disease but also understanding its complexities. With my expertise and dedication to individualized care, I ensure you have the clarity and confidence you need to embark on the journey towards recovery.
The key to effective breast cancer treatment lies in a precise diagnosis. By identifying the type, stage, and characteristics of the cancer, we can tailor a treatment plan best suited to your specific needs. In addition, understanding the details of the cancer can help predict its behavior and growth, assisting in making informed decisions about your health.
The diagnostic process starts with screening tests, like a mammogram or ultrasound. If these tests detect an abnormality, we proceed with additional diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of cancer.
**Biopsy:** This is the primary method to diagnose breast cancer definitively. A small sample of the suspicious tissue is removed and analyzed under a microscope. There are different types of biopsies, and I will guide you in choosing the most suitable one, considering the size, location, and other characteristics of the abnormality.
**Imaging Tests:** Additional imaging tests such as MRI, PET scan, or a breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) might be employed to understand the extent of the disease better.
After diagnosing breast cancer, we need to understand its characteristics in more detail, which can influence the course of your treatment.
**Hormone Receptor Status:** This test determines if the cancer cells have receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone. If positive, hormone therapies can be effective.
**HER2 Status:** HER2 is a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. Overexpression of this protein leads to aggressive cancer, and anti-HER2 drugs can be beneficial.
**Oncotype DX Test:** For certain types of breast cancer, this test helps predict the likelihood of cancer recurrence and whether you’ll benefit from chemotherapy.
**Genomic Testing:** These tests analyze the tumor’s genetic makeup, offering insights into how the cancer might behave and respond to treatment.
Post diagnosis, we will discuss the results in detail, ensuring you fully understand the nature of your disease. The next step is to create a personalized treatment plan based on the type and stage of cancer, your overall health, and your personal preferences.
With a commitment to delivering compassionate and comprehensive care, I will stand by your side in this journey, offering the expertise and reassurance you need. Accurate diagnosis is not just about identifying the disease; it’s about instilling hope and courage, laying a clear path towards recovery. Together, we can navigate this journey, armed with knowledge, resilience, and unwavering determination.