Navigating Breast Cancer Treatments

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, the many breast cancer treatments available are likely to overwhelm you. But take heart. Your breast cancer team will create an individualized treatment plan just for you. Keep in mind that you are an important part of this process. And understanding the different breast cancer treatment options can help. Read on to learn more.

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Factors that Influence Breast Cancer Treatments

How does your doctor know which breast cancer treatment is right for you? Some factors that they will consider include:

  • Your stage and type of breast cancer
  • How fast the cancer is growing
  • Your overall health
  • Your personal preferences

The Breast Health Center at Loma Linda University Cancer Center offers the most advanced diagnostic capabilities in the Inland Empire. Experts from all specialties come together to review and discuss each breast cancer case. They then collaborate on a customized breast cancer treatment plan focused on your unique needs and goals. This level of comprehensive, multidisciplinary care offers peace of mind that your treatment plan is thoroughly evaluated and tailored specifically for you.

The Breast Health Center cares for the whole person—not just the cancer. That’s why our breast cancer program offers a wide range of support services to help you every step of the way. This includes nutritional counseling, pastoral care, psychosocial counseling, support groups and much more.

Find a location near you

Loma Linda University Cancer Center
11234 Anderson St, Suite A600, Loma Linda, CA 92354
909-558-2262
Loma Linda University Health – Beaumont – Banning
Oncology
81 South Highland Springs Ave., Suite 201, Beaumont, CA 92223
909-558-2262
Loma Linda University Health – Beaumont – Banning
Radiation Oncology
81 South Highland Springs Ave., Suite 105, Beaumont, CA 92223
800-496-4966
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Oncology Nurse Navigator
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 130, Murrieta, CA 92563
951-290-4148
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Radiation Oncology
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 130, Murrieta, CA 92563
951-290-4162
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Women's Diagnostic Imaging Center
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 220, Murrieta, CA 92563
951-290-4860
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Faculty Surgical Oncology Medical Offices
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 510, Murrieta, CA 92563
909-558-2262
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Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery is one of the most common parts of breast cancer treatments for women with stage I, II or III breast cancer. Depending on the size and location of your tumor, you may have the option to choose between a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Talk to your breast cancer surgeon about the risks and benefits of both breast cancer treatments. Ask what type of surgery he or she recommends for you and why. You may also talk with a plastic surgeon to discuss reconstruction options after surgery.

Breast cancer surgeons at Loma Linda’s Breast Health Center provide a number of cutting-edge surgical options for patients, such as nipple-sparing breast surgery, mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, minimally invasive breast surgery, breast conservation surgery, and oncoplastic surgery. Your breast cancer surgeon can discuss these procedures with you and let you know if you may be a candidate.

Radiation Therapy

Many women with breast cancer will also receive radiation therapy – a painless treatment that uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It is a local treatment and is often given after surgery to lower the risk of the cancer coming back. It can also be used to target other areas of the body if the breast cancer has spread.

The Breast Health Center is one of the few centers in the United States that offers proton therapy for breast cancer patients. Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation for breast cancer treatment. This noninvasive therapy is an accurate, more focused form of therapy than other forms of external beam radiation available today for early-stage breast cancer. Because this type of radiation for breast cancer targets the specific area needing treatment, it protects surrounding tissues and organs and reduces unnecessary side-effects.

Drug Therapy

There are a number of drugs used as breast cancer treatments for women at all stages of cancer, including metastatic stage IV breast cancer. Some of these drugs include:

Breast cancer drugs work in very different ways to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells, improve symptoms and slow or prevent the spread of cancer. The drugs may also be combined to provide the most effective therapy possible.

At the Breast Health Center, breast cancer experts use cancer-fighting drugs combined with other therapies to offer the most comprehensive treatment possible. Our breast cancer program is also involved in a host of national clinical trials, allowing patients access to new and promising drug therapies and other breast cancer treatments.

Complementary Breast Cancer Treatments

Medical science has advanced tremendously in the treatment of breast cancer. But complementary breast cancer treatments may enhance your overall treatment plan by helping to relieve symptoms, ease side effects and improve overall quality of life. Some complementary breast cancer treatment options include:

  • Massage
  • Meditation or prayer
  • Yoga or gentle stretching
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy

The Breast Health Center cares for the whole person—not just the cancer. That’s why our breast cancer program offers a wide range of support services to help you every step of the way. This includes nutritional counseling, pastoral care, psychosocial counseling, support groups and much more. We also provide a team of experts who offer help managing treatment side effects.

Patient navigators are registered nurses trained in oncology care to guide you through the challenges of dealing with cancer. They are here to support you as you go through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Contact the Patient Navigator team at 800-782-2623.

The Cost of Breast Cancer Treatments

Going through breast cancer is difficult enough, but worrying about the costs involved only adds to stress. Thankfully, insurance covers most breast cancer treatments. But out-of-pocket fees and expenses associated with loss of income or help at home can add up. What should you do?

Now is the time to focus on your health. Overcoming cancer is your top priority. Don’t skip breast cancer treatments or avoid doctor visits due to money fears. Instead, talk with your breast cancer center about the cost of treatment and how they can help. Some centers can create a payment plan or connect you with resources that can help pay for care.

The Breast Health Center is focused on keeping you informed on all aspects of your care. As a breast cancer patient, you will work with a patient navigator who will guide and support you through each step of your care. Your navigator can provide patient education, answer any questions, and connect you with people and resources to help you address financial concerns.