It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, know the risk factors, and perform self-examinations regularly to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stages. This involves regular self-examinations and watching for changes that are specific to your breasts.
Breast Cancer Overview
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer), and it begins within the glandular tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk). It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare. Each year in the United States, about 227,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Virginia Oncology Associates offers an integrated team-oriented approach to provide patients with the best possible care during their breast cancer journey. We are also eager to explain the facts and answer your questions at every step along the way. Our team of dedicated, highly-trained physicians and staff are committed to providing the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients during their care with us.
Virginia Oncology Associates breast cancer treatment services are delivered in a non-hospital setting at one of our nine locations in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina.
Review this section's important information about breast cancer detection and staging, treatment options and surgery, as well as breast reconstruction as you prepare for an appointment with your oncologist. After reviewing these sections, ask your cancer care team any additional questions that you may have about your individual situation.
We understand that a new diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming. Our team will be with you every step of the way, from creating a treatment plan, getting a second opinion, and what to expect after treatment–including breast reconstruction surgery. We will arrange your consultation quickly so you can get the information you need.
Also, our team of breast cancer specialists will help you, and your family, make individualized treatment decisions. During this process, you will gain the knowledge and confidence to help manage your breast cancer and continue with routine activities of daily life.
Your breast cancer specialist at Virginia Oncology Associates will work together with you to develop a breast cancer treatment plan that’s best for you based on your type of breast cancer, hormone receptors that are present, stage of your breast cancer and various other factors. Your treatment options may include:
- Radiation Therapy
- Hormone Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
If your breast cancer treatment plan requires a mastectomy, you might choose to undergo breast reconstruction. There are many types of reconstruction depending on your age, body type, and type of breast cancer surgery that you had. You and an oncoplastic surgeon will explore your breast reconstruction options together before a decision is made.
Virginia Oncology Associates’ cancer researchers, along with the US Oncology Network, are leading the way to finding new and improved breast cancer treatment options. This includes studying a new triple negative breast cancer treatment option through a clinical trial that is now available at locations across Virginia - including Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.
We are always looking for the latest cancer treatment options for our patients and are also involved with many other types of breakthrough breast cancer research studies.
From local support groups and genetic risk testing to financial counseling and suggestions on wigs, breast prosthesis and beauty accessories, the specialists at Virginia Oncology Associates are here to help you during every step of your cancer journey.
We encourage you to learn more and take advantage of our cancer support groups and disease-specific organizations, including BEYOND BOOBS! In-Person Support Group which is currently serving several Virginia cities, such as Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Richmond, South Hill, Hopewell, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Williamsburg.
Lymph nodes are often the first place that breast cancer will start to grow outside of the breast. Your oncologist will perform tests and determine if there are breast cancer cells in the lymph nodes.