Breast Cancer | Miami Cancer Institute | Baptist Health South Florida
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Three generation family supporting breast cancer patient at Miami Cancer Institute

Breast Cancer

Personalized Treatment and Compassionate Breast Cancer Care

Designed with patients and families in mind, Miami Cancer Institute provides everything you need for targeted cancer treatment. We provide comprehensive breast cancer care combined with compassionate and caring support under one roof, in a world-class cancer facility. For any phase of your breast cancer journey, including expert diagnosis, personalized treatments, surgical oncology expertise, second opinions, access to groundbreaking clinical trials, genetic counseling services and prevention, our team is here to help.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or has concerns about a breast-related symptom or personal risk factors, our team is here for you. Miami Cancer Institute is setting the standard of care for breast cancer in the region – providing innovative and tailored treatments based on your unique tumor type, personal medical history and individual goals and objectives. We take care of your cancer, but we also take care of you – every step of the way.

Team-based Approach to Care

Effective breast cancer treatment requires a personalized, targeted approah. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art cancer care with the most comprehensive services available – tumor imaging, medical oncology, radiation therapies and perhaps surgery. If your treatment plan includes surgery, you will have a team of skilled surgical breast specialists, including plastic and reconstructive surgical expertise. All treatment decisions will be based on what is the best path for your individual diagnosis to maximize the outcome.  

Our multidisciplinary breast cancer team works together as a group to facilitate and streamline diagnosis and determine the best treatment path. This collaborative approach also extends to our Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, working together with one of the nation’s top cancer centers to provide our patients with groundbreaking clinical trials and new treatment discoveries.

Our team helps you understand the type and complexity of your breast cancer, while managing your symptoms. In addition to renowned breast cancer experts, we have the strength of an entire system of care throughout Baptist Health South Florida. We offer patient support services to help coordinate all aspects of care and ease the effects of your cancer journey, including:

  • Patient Navigation
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Pain management
  • Psychological support
  • Survivorship guidance
  • Integrative medicine
  • Healing therapies
  • Support groups
  • Patient and family resources
  • Boutique services
  • Physical Therapy

Prevention is Our Goal

While our team has the expertise to take care of any stage of breast cancer, we work hard to teach women about cancer prevention. With advanced screenings available at Baptist Health, it is important to have routine breast screenings not only to set a baseline, but to identify any issues or concerns.

Knowing your body and watching for any unusual changes – even subtle changes – is a proactive approach to prevention. Common symptoms may include:

  • Lump in the breast or underarm area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Swelling of all or part of the breast
  • Persistent breast pain
  • Irritation, redness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin

Understanding Your Breast Cancer Risk

Most breast cancers are sporadic in nature, meaning the cancer is not due to an inherited gene but a result of gene damage from normal aging, hormones, lifestyle factors, environmental exposures, dietary factors or other influences.

However, through research and discovery, we know that some cancers are more affected by genetics – and breast cancer is one of those. Only about 5% of breast cancers result directly from genetics, or gene defects and only about 10% from inherited DNA. While all cancers are genetic, meaning that they are based in your unique genetic code or DNA, not all are inherited. If your family has a strong history of breast cancer, your specific DNA may include some of the genes or abnormal cells that may lead to cancer. The breast cancer team at Miami Cancer Institute understands when genetic counseling is needed and our team will make the appropriate recommendation. We work together to determine your personal risk and the optimal care path for your individual needs.

Learn More about Our Breast Cancer Care

For more information about breast cancer care at Miami Cancer Institute, please call us at 786-596-2000 or request an appointment with our convenient online request.

To diagnose breast cancer, your doctor will perform a physical exam and review your health history, including lifestyle habits and family history. One or more of the following diagnostic tests may be conducted:

  • Digital mammography is the best screening tool to detect breast cancer. At Miami Cancer Institute, we use advanced digital technology and low-dose radiation for your safety. Our radiologists can manipulate the size, orientation, brightness and contrast of the images to enhance the breast evaluation. They also use computer-aided detection when reviewing a mammogram, which helps them detect cancer at earlier stages, when it is most treatable.
  • 3-D Mammography takes multiple images of breast tissue to recreate a 3-D picture, giving your doctor a clearer image of breast masses. Women with dense breast tissue may benefit from 3-D mammography.
  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps physicians evaluate the extent of a known breast cancer, screen high-risk patients and further evaluate areas of concern found by mammogram, ultrasound or during physical examination.
  • Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the breast.
  • Fine needle biopsy allows your physician to withdraw a small amount of fluid or tissue for analysis using a fine, hollow needle.
  • Core biopsy allows your physician to obtain a tissue sample for analysis using a wedge needle. Your doctor may conduct an ultrasound-guided biopsy or stereotactic biopsy, which uses mammography to visualize the abnormality.  
  • Blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) and serum tumor markers, measure the amount of certain substances released into the blood by organs, tissues or tumor cells in the body.

Miami Cancer Institute’s comprehensive team of physicians, nurses and support staff specialize in breast health and use the latest treatments and newest medications to treat and manage your disease. We also offer participation in clinical research trials that may find new and better ways to treat cancer.

Our team offers the encouragement, support and individualized attention you need. And our survivorship program provides you with medical guidance and compassionate care well into the future. 

Your customized medical treatment plan may include one or more of the following therapies:

Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer, and our breast surgeons are among the most skilled in the world. There are three surgical options: 

  • Lumpectomy – removal of the tumor and any affected tissue, while the majority of the breast is conserved. Lumpectomy often is combined with radiation therapy.
  • Mastectomy – removal of one of both breasts. Depending on the nature of the cancer, you may have a total mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy or nipple-sparing mastectomy.
  • Breast reconstruction – reconstruction of the breast structure using implants or tissue from other parts of your body. Reconstructive surgery can be performed at the time of cancer surgery or at a later date.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells. Miami Cancer Institute’s radiation oncology physicians are among the most experienced in the world, and we offer the most comprehensive radiology platforms available to treat breast cancer, including external beam radiation, brachytherapy and proton therapy.

Miami Cancer Institute is the only center of its kind in the region and one of only 14 in the United States to offer proton therapy. This advanced form of radiation treatment spares healthy tissue and eliminates many of the side effects of conventional radiation treatment.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells and control their growth. Chemotherapy may be administered before surgery to shrink a tumor, after surgery to ensure all cancer cells are destroyed or as the main course of treatment for cancer that has spread beyond the breast. Miami Cancer Institute offers the most effective chemotherapy options and delivery methods to treat breast cancer.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy in breast cancer treatment also is known as endocrine therapy. It uses medications that block the formation of estrogen, or block the receptors that estrogen stimulates. Hormone therapy is effective in breast cancers that require estrogen to grow. The therapy typically is combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells, blocking their growth and spread. The goal of targeted therapy is to interfere with genes or proteins involved in tumor growth while avoiding damage to healthy cells. Targeted therapies are usually less likely than chemotherapy to harm normal, healthy cells.

Targeted therapies used in breast cancer include Herceptin – an antibody that works against HER2-neu positive breast cancers by blocking HER2 production and obstructin​g tumor growth.​