Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Your care team will work with you to help determine the most effective treatment plan for you.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses large doses of high-energy beams or particles to destroy cancer cells in a targeted area of the body.


Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells, control their growth or relieve pain symptoms.


Surgery is often used in combination with other treatment options.

Breast Care team

Patient Navigator - Your guide on the journey

Patient Navigators can coordinate a path through your specific treatment. Our Patient Navigators are supportive guides for both patients and family members. Navigators are oncology nurses with added training in patient/family education and services.

Care Navigators assist by:

  • Making appointments with your care team (specialists, oncologists and others). The navigator will combine appointments into one visit when possible.
  • Scheduling tests and treatments
  • Answering your questions and explaining medical information in a way that’s easy to understand
  • Suggesting resources or services
  • Helping you find ways to take good care of yourself

Working closely with doctors, staff and clinics, Patient Navigators help you navigate through your journey with cancer.

Care team

Other Breast Care team members include:

  • General surgeon
  • Plastic surgeon
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Medical oncologist
  • Certified genetics counselor
  • Cancer psychotherapist
  • Certified lymphedema therapists
  • Healing arts coordinator

After a diagnosis of breast cancer, the first step is usually to see a surgeon. He or she will examine your mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy results as well as do a breast exam. Surgery is often recommended as the first treatment for breast cancer but there may be choices about what kind of surgery to have. Occasionally, chemotherapy is done prior to surgery to shrink the tumor before it is removed.

To help you make the best decision, it is helpful to meet with a plastic surgeon, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist. Talking with a breast care navigator about these options may help clarify the procedure and answer questions.

After surgery, appointments will be made to meet with a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. A medical oncologist specializes in medicines to treat any cancer cells that may be left in the body after surgery. These may include hormones, chemotherapy or biotherapy. A radiation oncologist specializes in treating breast cancer patients with various types of radiation.