Treatment options for breast cancer vary depending on the stage at presentation, as well as other patient and tumor factors. Breast surgery
is often the first step, and typically involves removing the cancer in the breast (either with a lumpectomy or mastectomy,) along with assessment of the lymph node status in the axilla. Our surgeons have expertise in surgical techniques including nipple-sparing mastectomy procedures done through a hidden incision on the underside of the breast that remove the breast while leaving the nipple-areola complex in place. The plastic surgery
team is composed of pioneers in direct-to-implant reconstruction in selected patients, which is a one-step procedure that can eliminate the need for multiple painful surgeries and office procedures. Other reconstructive options for patients include prepectoral implants (above the muscle), which improve post-operative function and appearance in selected patients. Finally, many microvascular reconstruction procedures are performed at White Plains Hospital including deep interior epigastric perferators (DIEP) flaps.
The medical oncologist determines if any systemic treatment is necessary, specifically chemotherapy
or anti-hormonal therapy, to treat cancer cells in the breast and also to prevent spread of disease to other areas of the body. There are some circumstances where systemic treatment is given by the oncologist prior to breast surgery (neoadjuvant therapy), in order to shrink the tumor in the breast and/or lymph nodes. Advances in medical oncology include targeted treatment of a tumor, in order to maximize benefit while minimizing damage to other cells in the body.
involves administering radiation to the local area of involvement (usually the breast after a lumpectomy, and may include regional lymph node basins depending on the stage of the cancer) to prevent local recurrence of the disease. Most frequently the entire breast is targeted for radiation after lumpectomy, however in some situations only the affected part of the breast is targeted. This approach can minimize any radiation damage to underlying organs including the heart and lungs. The White Plains Hospital approach has resulted in excellent rates of local control after lumpectomy, as well as low rate of radiation related problems after breast reconstruction.