If you are a breast cancer patient at MedStar Health, rest assured that you are in the hands of the most skilled and compassionate cancer doctors. From oncology nurses to surgeons, your MedStar healthcare team believes in treating the whole person, not just the disease, and will support you with the compassion you deserve and the excellence you expect every step of the way.
Learn more about The Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Treating Breast Cancer at MedStar Health
Under normal circumstances, cells that wear out replace themselves with an exact replica. When a group of mildly incorrect cells grows slowly and stays contained, it forms a benign (non-dangerous) tumor.
However, when the damaged cells are growing quickly and out of control, they form a malignant tumor cancer. Breast cancer begins in the cells of the lobules, which are milk-producing glands or in the milk ducts, which carry milk from the lobules to the nipple.
Though breast lumps occur for a number of reasons (and 85 percent are non-cancerous), if you find one, please make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians. He or she will follow this process to determine how best to care for you:
- Diagnosis: Our doctors will carefully image and biopsy the breast to get the most accurate diagnosis possible.
- Treatment: If a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, your doctors will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan. Breast cancer treatments typically include surgery and systemic therapy, like chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, or targeted biologic treatments. Radiation therapy is part of the treatment after lumpectomy. Some women may be eligible to participate in clinical trials.
- Recovery: After the treatments are finished, your MedStar Health team will help you with the recovery process, from reconstructive surgery to follow-up care.
Breast Cancer Staging
Not every type of breast cancer is the same—some are more common than others and some could be a combination of cancers. But once you've been diagnosed through a biopsy—your MedStar Health physician will examine the specifics of your breast tumor and decide the best way to treat it. Staging is an important part of the process that guides treatment options; it shows the extent of your cancer, the size of any tumors, and the severity of the disease.
The stages of breast cancer are as follows:
- Stage 0: Early stage breast cancer is called noninvasive cancer—the cancer cells have developed, but are confined to the breast ducts, without invading surrounding tissue. This stage of cancer generally does not present with any symptoms and is most often detected on a mammogram and confirmed with a biopsy.
- Stage I: The breast tumor is invasive, about the size of a quarter, but has not spread beyond the breast.
- Stage II: The breast tumor is one to two inches and may or may not have spread to the underarm (axillary) lymph nodes. Cancers of this stage sometimes appear only in those lymph nodes and not in the breast at all.
- Stage III: The cancer is one to two inches and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or is larger than two inches and has not yet spread.
- Stage IV: Cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain, bones, lung, and liver.
Call Us Today
To find a cancer specialist:
The Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
Baltimore, MD 21218