Breast cancer treatment plan
We understand you are a unique individual, dealing with a unique breast cancer diagnosis. Before you begin treatment, our team of breast cancer experts from multiple disciplines come together to share their expertise and determine the most appropriate treatment approach for you.
We’ll customize your breast cancer treatment directly to your individual needs so you get the right type — and the right amount — of treatment to eradicate breast cancer.
At Edward-Elmhurst Health, you'll find the full range of innovative breast cancer treatments close to home, and we actively participate in clinical trials to stay on top of the latest approaches.
We offer many surgical innovations to treat breast cancer, including breast conserving surgery and advanced reconstructive options to preserve the size and shape of your breast.
Your surgical team, including experienced breast surgeons and surgical oncologists, will discuss these options with you and develop an individualized plan of care, taking into consideration your unique needs and personal goals.
Learn more about our innovative breast surgery options
As part of your surgical plan, your surgeon may discuss your options for breast reconstruction. Reconstructive surgery can play an important role in restoring your body image and emotional well-being after a breast cancer diagnosis. If you would like to pursue breast reconstruction, your surgeon will refer you to one of our reconstructive surgeons to discuss your options.
Learn more about our reconstructive surgery options
Breast cancer chemotherapy
In the past, breast cancer patients would automatically be put on a chemotherapy regimen. Many women received treatment that was more aggressive than they needed, which caused a whole host of unpleasant and unnecessary side effects. Today we have found that many women often don’t need as aggressive treatments as they used to get.
Our breast cancer experts may use genomic testing to customize chemotherapy to your individual needs. By testing a small amount of tissue, we can examine the tumor at the molecular level to determine your potential benefit from chemotherapy — before you get it. We can also determine your risk of breast cancer recurrence so we can stay on top of your long-term health.
Breast cancer targeted therapy
Targeted therapies are designed to block the growth and spread of cancer. Since targeted medications are directed to attack breast cancer cells specifically, it results in fewer side effects.
With genomic testing, we can now tailor your treatment specifically to your needs. We collect a tissue sample during a biopsy, and then test the tissue for certain markers to see if you would benefit from targeted therapy. We may combine targeted drug therapy with chemotherapy and other breast cancer treatments.
Breast cancer hormonal therapy
Some breast cancer patients received hormone therapy at some point in their treatment journey. Some of the most common hormonal therapies used are Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. These drugs are sometimes used for women at high risk right for developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer neoadjuvant treatment
Some breast cancer patients receive treatment to shrink the tumor before the main treatment is given, called neoadjuvant treatment.
For instance, a woman with a large tumor may receive chemotherapy and targeted therapy to shrink the tumor before she has breast cancer surgery. The patient may then undergo a more simple procedure rather than a long and complex surgery.
Breast cancer radiation therapy
Some breast cancer patients receive radiation therapy as part of treatment. Our radiation oncologists may use radiation therapy before surgery to help shrink a tumor or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Lymphedema occurs when lymphatic fluid accumulates in tissue and causes painful swelling. Lymphedema often occurs in breast cancer patients who had all or part of their breast and underarm lymph nodes removed, or who had radiation therapy to treat the disease. Your breast cancer team provides lymphedema therapy to help prevent, diagnose and manage the condition.
Breast cancer care team
At Edward-Elmhurst Health, you have a multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts working for you. Our physicians are board-certified specialists in hematology, oncology, breast cancer surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, radiation therapy and more.
Meet our breast cancer experts
Breast cancer nurse navigators
Nurse navigators are patient educators and care guides whose mission is to improve the treatment experience for our breast cancer patients. Nurse navigators assist you and your family immediately following diagnosis all the way through treatment and into survivorship. Patients have a direct phone number to call their navigator any time.
Learn more about breast cancer nurse navigators
Breast cancer support
Treating breast cancer is a group effort. Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a variety of support services, including complementary therapies, nutrition services, rehabilitation therapies and more, to help you through your cancer journey.
Breast cancer survivorship
Our support continues after your breast cancer treatment is complete. Often, survivors experience challenges and late effects of treatment. Our Survivorship Clinic helps breast cancer survivors maintain continuity with the cancer center even if they aren’t receiving active treatment anymore.
We understand that caring for you extends beyond treating the disease alone. During your cancer care at Edward-Elmhurst, we offer a variety of services to support your well-being, including:
Second Opinion Clinic
You have a right to a second opinion.
Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst Health's Second Opinion Clinics and take charge of your health today.
Edward-Elmhurst Health is committed to research and improving outcomes for patients with breast cancer.
View our clinical trials