Breast cancer is most common in women, but can also affect men. Often, breast cancer is detected through a lump in the breast or a noticeable change in the size, shape or skin of a breast. Mammograms are crucial for diagnosis and early detection of breast cancer.
Breast cancer specialists in Florida
For so many, a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. You may be uncertain of where to turn or what to do next. That's where we enter in.
At HCA Florida Physicians — a network of physician practices across the state — our doctors are here to support you from the moment of your diagnosis. Our breast cancer specialists are experienced in preventing, diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Their years of experience help them create an effective treatment plan for you and listen to your concerns with empathy and compassion, knowing just how delicate a situation this can be.
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Breast cancer services we offer
We offer a wide range of services to identify and treat breast cancer, including:
Treatment for breast cancer
If a breast cancer diagnosis has been confirmed, our physicians will discuss next steps with you, including your treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include one or more treatment options, depending on your unique situation.
Radiation therapy is used to shrink or destroy a malignant (cancerous) tumor. During radiation therapy, beams of energy or radioactive particles — are able to be aimed at the tumor with such precision that only the tumor receives the radiation. This causes less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Surgery for breast cancer
One option for treating breast cancer can be surgery. During surgery, your breast cancer specialists may:
- Remove only the cancerous tumor
- Remove the entire breast (mastectomy)
- Remove both breasts (double mastectomy)
In some cases, a double mastectomy is used when there is a high-risk for breast cancer returning, even if it is not located in both breasts at the time.
Breast cancer risk factors
Our doctors know that knowledge is the best defense against breast cancer. Because of this, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the risk factors for developing breast cancer, so you can make informed choices about when you may need screening.
The following factors may indicate a higher risk for developing breast cancer:
- Age — The chance of developing breast cancer increases as a woman gets older.
- Breast density — Having dense breasts can increase your likelihood of developing breast cancer.
- Genes — Women whose family members have had breast or ovarian cancer may be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Personal factors — Personal factors that place women at a higher risk of developing breast cancer include beginning a menstrual cycle before 12 years old or going through menopause after 55 years old.
Additional breast cancer risk factors include:
- Being overweight
- Drinking alcohol
- Not having children or having your first child after 35 years old
- Taking birth control pills
- Using hormone replacement therapy (also called menopausal hormone therapy)
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms of breast cancer, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about breast cancer screening:
- A new lump in the breast or underarm
- Dimpling of the breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
- Pain in the nipple area
- Redness or irritation in the nipple area
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
Screening for breast cancer
Breast self-exams and mammograms can help find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. Our physicians offer a variety of breast care services to ensure breast health, including:
- Breast ultrasounds
- Breast ultrasound biopsies
- Genetic counseling for high-risk patients
Our breast cancer specialists
Breast cancer is often identified during routine breast exams, making your primary care physician, gynecologist or even you, the first line of defense against breast cancer.
If a lump, or other symptoms of breast cancer are present, your doctor may refer you to one of our breast cancer specialists — who are standing by ready to help.
Our highly trained physicians have years of experience in treating breast cancer, and as part of HCA Florida Healthcare, they work with other physicians who do as well.
But rest assured, everyone there on your journey is in your corner and ready to help you heal.