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Breast Cancer

We’re here to empower and encourage you through every step of your breast cancer journey.
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Comprehensive care for breast cancer

Breast cancer starts when cells in your breast grow abnormally. These cells can multiply and spread to other tissues.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women today. In fact, about one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. While uncommon, men can get breast cancer too. Men make up about 1% of all cases.

Whether you want to know your risk or you're navigating a breast cancer diagnosis, you have many resources for prevention, detection, treatment and recovery. We offer complete services from several areas of care—all dedicated to beating breast cancer.

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Why Baylor Scott & White for breast cancer care

When you choose us for your breast cancer care, you get access to multiple specialists, support services, clinical trials, patient navigators and more. Our team not only treats your breast cancer but also cares for you as a person.

From prevention to life after cancer, we guide you through your entire journey. And often, you don’t have to travel far. With the largest network of cancer centers in the state, we bring advanced breast cancer treatment and years of expertise straight to you.

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Baylor Scott & White Health is the third largest network of cancer centers accredited by the Commission on Cancer.

Baylor Scott & White Health Temple and Round Rock regions are fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)

Finding specialized breast cancer care

We help you get care at a location that fits your needs. We offer several locations for your care, including specialized breast cancer centers in North and Central Texas.

Types of breast cancer

Typically, breast cancer begins in the lobules, the part of your breast that produces milk, or in the ducts, which connect the lobules to the nipples. In rare cases, you can develop cancer in other tissues in your breast too.

No matter what type of breast cancer you have, we want you to feel informed about your care. We’ll answer your questions and guide you through all your breast cancer treatment options across Texas.

Types of breast cancer

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  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
  • Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)
  • Metastatic breast cancer (MBC)
  • Paget’s disease
  • Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)

Adenocarcinoma

Most breast cancers are adenocarcinomas. This term is used for several types of breast cancer that start in the glandular tissues of the breast, such as the lobules and ducts.

Angiosarcoma

Breast angiosarcoma is a rare type of cancer. This kind of breast cancer develops in the walls of blood vessels or the vessels of the lymphatic system.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

DCIS is a very treatable form of breast cancer. It develops in the ducts of your breasts but remains “in situ.” This means it hasn’t spread to other areas.   

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)

This rare form of breast cancer doesn’t typically cause a lump in the breast. Instead, you may notice an unusual texture, swelling or redness. Because it can spread quickly, early care is important.

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)

IDC begins in the milk ducts. Then, it spreads to other areas of the breast outside of the duct. It’s the most common type of breast cancer.

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)

ILC is a common form of breast cancer. It develops in the lobules, which are the parts of the breasts that make milk. It’s called “invasive” because cancer has spread outside the lobules.

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC)

As breast cancer grows, it can spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain or bones. In MBC, cancer has spread outside the breast tissue and nearby tissue. It’s also called stage IV breast cancer.

Paget’s disease

In Paget’s disease, cancer cells form around or in your nipple. It makes up a small percentage of breast cancers. In many cases, women have Paget’s disease along with another type of breast cancer.

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)

TNBC is negative for three receptors found in other breast cancers—estrogen, progesterone and the HER2 protein. Because of this, it may not respond to the same treatments as other types of cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer

When you know your risk, you can take proactive steps to care for your breast health better. We provide breast cancer screenings across Texas and other care options based on your risk factors, so you can feel empowered to take charge of your health.

Risk factors for breast cancer

  • Increasing age
  • Being female
  • Family history
  • Ethnicity
  • Genetics, such as BRAC1 and BRAC2 mutations
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Never breastfeeding
  • Using certain types of birth control or hormone therapy
  • Drinking alcohol

Guidelines for those at high risk for breast cancer

  • Monthly breast self-exams
  • Routine clinical breast exams
  • Yearly screening mammograms (possibly at an earlier age)
  • Yearly screening breast MRIs

Guidelines for those with average risk for breast cancer

  • Monthly breast self-exams
  • Routine clinical breast exams
  • Screening mammograms every two years, starting at ages 45-50

We're By Your Side for Prevention, Detection and Treatment

Schedule a mammogram with one of our breast health specialists

Symptoms and signs of breast cancer

Monthly self-exams let you get to know the texture and feel of your breasts, which can help you catch any changes sooner. It’s important to know what’s normal—and what could be a sign you need to call your doctor.

One of the main signs of breast cancer is a lump. However, not every cancer causes one. Learn more about what to look for in your self-exams and the most common breast cancer symptoms.

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How is breast cancer diagnosed?

Whether you felt a lump or had a suspicious area on your mammogram, we’ll guide you through your next steps. Our caring team and advanced technology help you get an accurate breast cancer diagnosis.

Breast cancer diagnosis

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  • Breast biopsy
  • Breast exam
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Diagnostic mammogram
  • Screening mammogram

Breast biopsy

Breast biopsy uses imaging technology to guide a needle into the breast. Then, a sample of tissue is taken. This tissue is sent to a lab and reviewed under a microscope.

Breast exam

If you have breast cancer symptoms, your doctor may perform a clinical breast exam. During the exam, your doctor will feel for any lumps and look for other signs of breast cancer.

Breast ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves to provide an image of a certain area of your breast. In some cases, breast ultrasound can help your doctor decide if more testing is needed.

Diagnostic mammogram

You may have a diagnostic mammogram if you have signs of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammograms provide several detailed X-ray images. As a result, they may take longer than a screening mammogram.

Learn more about mammograms

Screening mammogram

Screening mammograms use X-rays to take images of the breasts. This type of mammogram is for women who don’t have any signs of breast cancer. A mammogram often catches early signs of breast cancer before you can see or feel them.

Learn more about breast imaging

Find an imaging center near you

Understanding BI-RADS

BI-RADS stands for breast imaging reporting and data system. Developed by the American College of Radiology, it's used to classify mammograms. The numeric codes from 0 to 6 give you more details about your results.

  • 0—Incomplete (additional imaging may be needed)
  • 1—Negative (no abnormalities)
  • 2—Benign (a non-cancerous abnormality)
  • 3—Probably benign (probably a non-cancerous abnormality)
  • 4—Suspicious (additional testing like biopsy may be needed)
  • 5—Highly suggestive of malignancy (likely to be cancer)
  • 6—Known biopsy-proven malignancy (already known to be cancer)
A doctor reviews breast X-rays on a computer
Breast cancer stages
Several tests are used to measure the size of a tumor and learn how far it has spread. This is called staging. The stage of your cancer will help guide your treatment.
Based on National Cancer Institute guidelines, the breast cancer stages are:
Stage 0
The breast cancer is noninvasive, and cancer cells are found only in the ducts.
Stage I
The tumor is 2 cm (about ¾ of an inch) or less in diameter and has invaded the surrounding breast tissue. Tiny amounts of cancer cells may be found in the underarm lymph nodes.
Stage II
The tumor is larger than 2 cm and has not spread nodes, or the cancer is less than 5 cm across and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
Stage III
The tumor is less than 5 cm (2 inches) across, and there is a lot of cancer in your underarm lymph nodes, or it has spread to other lymph nodes. Or the tumor is larger than 5 cm and has spread to lymph nodes. Or the tumor is any size and has spread to the skin, chest wall and maybe to nearby lymph nodes.
Stage IV
The tumor has spread beyond the breast to the bones, lungs, liver, brain or lymph nodes far away from the breast.

Breast cancer treatment

We put you at the center of our approach to breast cancer treatment in Texas. Your care team will work together with you to design a plan of care for your specific stage and type. Through our network of cancer centers, you can receive breast cancer treatment close to home.

  • Breast-conserving surgery (BCS)
  • Modified radical mastectomy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Lumpectomy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pain management
  • Mastectomy
  • Immunotherapy/Targeted Therapy
  • Genetic testing and counseling
  • Simple or total mastectomy
  • Radiation therapy

 

Learn more about breast cancer treatment options

Breast cancer treatment options

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  • Breast-conserving surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical trials
  • Genetic testing and counseling
  • Hormone therapy
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Pain management
  • Radiation therapy

Breast-conserving surgery

Breast-conserving surgery removes your cancer and some of the tissue around it. But it leaves the rest of the breast in place. Often, this type of surgery is an option for women with early-stage cancers.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs—either through an IV or in pill form—to destroy cancer cells. You may have a single drug or a mixture of drugs depending on your type of cancer.

Clinical trials

We're dedicated to pioneering new ways to defeat breast cancer. Through Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, you may have access to innovative therapies and clinical trials during your treatment.

Genetic testing and counseling

Some types of breast cancer are linked to specific genes. Genetic testing identifies mutations in these genes. It can give you a more complete picture of how your genes affect breast cancer.

Genetic counseling services

Hormone therapy

Many breast cancers are fueled by hormones. Hormone therapy works by blocking hormones in the body or the effects these hormones have on cancer cells. This can slow or stop their growth.

Lumpectomy

A lumpectomy is another name for breast-conserving surgery. It may be an option if you have a small tumor in a single location. During a lumpectomy, your surgeon only removes your tumor and some of the nearby tissue.

Mastectomy

The surgical removal of the entire breast is called a mastectomy. There are several different types of mastectomies. Simple mastectomies only remove breast tissue. Other types may remove lymph nodes or tissues around the breast too.

Pain management

You may have pain due to your breast cancer or after some treatments. We offer medication and other therapies to better manage cancer-related pain.

Pain management services

Radiation therapy

Radiation uses high-intensity beams of energy to kill cancer. The most common type of this therapy is external beam radiation. You may have radiation along with surgery or chemo.

  • Cancer research

    Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) conducts innovative studies exploring potentially new medications and therapies for nearly a dozen different cancer types. Trials are currently underway at select Baylor Scott & White locations.

Breast cancer support

When you’re battling breast cancer, there’s a lot to navigate. But you don’t have to do it alone. We have an entire network of support resources designed just for you across Texas—from diagnosis to after you finish breast cancer treatment.

Whether it’s coordinating your care or connecting you with other survivors, we’ll arm you with support for your fight. Get started today by contacting a patient navigator or exploring one of our many programs.

  • Cancer hates fighters

    Elvira | Breast cancer

    Elvira refused to quit. And so did we. Our team-centered approach helped her battle breast cancer with an army by her side.

Scheduling a consultation

With clinics, imaging centers and cancer centers across North and Central Texas, we can connect you to the breast cancer care you need. We’ll help you find a doctor for an evaluation, schedule your mammogram and more.  

Not sure where to start? We can help with that too. Our patient navigators will advocate for you and coordinate care for your breast cancer journey.

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Want to learn more? View all our breast cancer articles from Scrubbing In.

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