Charles Padgett, MD, chief of medical oncology, meets with a patient. As our patient, you will be treated by the most skilled and compassionate cancer doctors.
From oncology nurses and navigators to surgeons and other specialists, our cancer care team believes in treating the whole person, not just the disease, and will support you with the compassion you deserve and the excellence you expect every step of the way.
Treating Breast Cancer
Under normal circumstances, cells that wear out replace themselves with an exact replica. When a group of mildly incorrect cells grows slowly and stays contained, it forms a benign (non dangerous) tumor.
However, when the damaged cells are growing quickly and out of control, they form a malignant tumor cancer. Breast cancer begins in the cells of the lobules, which are milk-producing glands or in the milk ducts, which carry milk from the lobules to the nipple.
Though breast lumps occur for a number of reasons (and 85 percent are non-cancerous), if you find one, please make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians. He or she will follow this process to determine how best to care for you:
- Diagnosis: Our doctors will carefully image and biopsy the breast to get the most accurate diagnosis possible.
- Treatment: If a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, your doctors will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan. Breast cancer treatments typically include surgery and and systemic therapy, like chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, or targeted biologic treatments. Radiation therapy is part of the treatment after lumpectomy. Some women may be eligible to participate in clinical trials.
- Recovery: After the treatments are finished, our team will help you with the recovery process, from reconstructive surgery to follow-up care.
Breast Cancer Staging
Not every type of breast cancer is the same—some are more common than others and some could be a combination of cancers. But once you've been diagnosed through a biopsy—your physician will examine the specifics of your breast tumor and decide the best way to treat it. Staging is an important part of the process that guides treatment options; it shows the extent of your cancer, the size of any tumors, and the severity of the disease.
The stages of breast cancer are as follows:
- Stage 0: Early stage breast cancer is called noninvasive cancer—the cancer cells have developed, but are confined to the breast ducts, without invading surrounding tissue. This stage of cancer generally does not present with any symptoms and is most often detected on a mammogram and confirmed with a biopsy.
- Stage I: The breast tumor is invasive, about the size of a quarter, but has not spread beyond the breast.
- Stage II: The breast tumor is one to two inches and may or may not have spread to the under-arm (axillary) lymph nodes. Cancers of this stage sometimes appear only in those lymph nodes and not in the breast at all.
- Stage III: The cancer is one to two inches and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or is larger than two inches and has not yet spread.
- Stage IV: The cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain, bones, lung, and liver.
Watch the videos below to see physicians and other experts from the MedStar Health Cancer Network discuss breast cancer, genetic risks, common cancer myths and more.
MedStar Franklin Square Cancer Center at Loch Raven Campus
(Located on the campus of MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital)
5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Russell Morgan Building, Suite 103
Baltimore, MD 21239