If you or someone you love has breast cancer, you want confidence and support in your care team, right away. You want access to the latest innovations in cancer care and clinical research. And you want a success plan designed just for you. That’s why we’re here.
GenesisCare is a first-of-its-kind, global network of over 5,000 dedicated cancer specialists. Our physicians bring the most promising advances in science from across the US and around the world right to your community.
We design care experiences that get the best possible life outcomes. Our purpose and values guide all our actions today and for the future. When you entrust your breast cancer treatment to GenesisCare, you get the collaboration of thousands of the world’s most brilliant cancer minds. That means successes in London lead to recoveries in Los Angeles. And advanced research becomes breakthrough treatments.
It’s a better world of care, close to you.
This is GenesisCare.
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts. Cancer cells grow out of control and, in breast cancer, usually form a tumor that can be seen through diagnostic imaging, like a mammogram, MRI or ultrasound, or felt as a lump.
Most breast lumps are benign and not cancerous (malignant). Non-cancerous tumors are abnormal growths that do not spread beyond the breast tissue, but can signify an increased risk of getting breast cancer. Any change in your breast health needs to be checked and discussed with your physician.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer to affect women in the United States, but it can also affect men. It’s predominantly a disease that occurs among postmenopausal women with 70% of all cases in women older than 55 years.
Fortunately, early diagnosis and advances in breast cancer treatment have enhanced the chances of survival. According to the American Cancer Society, 5-year survival rates for women with breast cancer are at 90%.1 Early diagnosis and prevention are key.
Breast cancer can be broken down into two types: non-invasive and invasive.
Breast cancer can be considered either invasive or non-invasive.
Non-invasive breast cancer is when the abnormal cells (growths) haven’t spread from their original location – typically in the milk producing glands or ducts. These tumors cannot usually be felt through self-exam or by your physician and are most commonly identified by routine mammography.
Two main types of non-invasive breast cancer are:
Invasive breast cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue; over 90% of cases are infiltrating ductal carcinoma, an early invasive breast cancer.
Other types include:
There are several early warning signs of breast cancer, but they can vary from person to person. It’s important to remember that other benign conditions may cause changes to the breasts and very often these relate to a simple infection or harmless cyst. The most common breast cancer symptom is a lump or mass.
Other breast cancer symptoms can include:
It’s important to remember that an awareness of the signs of breast cancer should not take the place of having regular mammograms and other screening tests as prescribed by your physician.
According to the American Cancer Society, getting regular screening tests is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early.2
Screening Recommendations for women at average risk
Average risk for this purpose is defined as someone without a personal and strong family history of breast cancer, without genetic mutations known to increase risk and that has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.
Screening Recommendations for women at high risk
To be considered at a high risk for breast cancer, as defined by the American Cancer Society, there are certain factors to consider:
For women 30+ that meet fall into the above criteria, should get a breast MRI and mammogram every year. As always, please discuss your personal risk factors with your physician and decide on preventative measures that are best for you.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer to affect women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It’s predominantly a disease that occurs among postmenopausal women and there is a 1 in 8 chance a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Risk factors include:
Although not commonly discussed, men can also get breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it is about 100 times less common among white men than white women and about 70 times less common among Black men than Black women. Overall, there is a 1 in 833 chance a man will be diagnosed with breast cancer in his lifetime.3
Risk factors are similar for men and include:
Breast cancer can be diagnosed using a variety of screening tools, including mammography, breast ultrasound and breast MRI. And, if warranted by the results of your screening(s), a breast biopsy will be done. A biopsy will involve removing tissue from the suspicious area; this tissue will then be sent to a lab to determine if it contains cancer cells.
There are different types of biopsies, including:
A breast biopsy is the only sure way to diagnose breast cancer.
Radiation therapy is an important part of many breast cancer treatment plans and is often the last step of active treatment for those who have surgery and, when indicated, chemotherapy.
Innovative treatments focus on precision, accuracy and safety. GenesisCare physicians are at the forefront of research and are continually looking for ways to improve radiation’s cancer-fighting role, while minimizing patient risks and side effects.
If you are just starting your breast cancer treatment, or you know radiation therapy is required, be sure to speak with a GenesisCare specialist. In close collaboration with your oncologist, we work together to develop the right therapy plan for you, all while leveraging our leading-edge technologies, global clinical trials network and unmatched care experience.
AlignRT® is leading-edge technology for surface guided radiation therapy (SGRT) with precise planning software and unique body positioning technologies that enables:
When treating cancer with radiation therapy, our goal is to deliver radiation to your breast area while protecting surrounding healthy tissue from exposure and potential damage. DIBH is an innovative technique that dramatically reduces potential cardiac complications. Utilizing AlignRT, radiation oncologists can take extra precautions to make sure that your heart receives minimal radiation exposure during your treatment, especially when treating cancer in the left breast.
During treatment planning, you will lie on your back for 3D images to be taken of your body. You will be asked to take and hold a deep breath — usually for 15-25 seconds — so that your breast area is as far from your heart as it can be. This is called deep inspiration breath hold or DIBH. Then, during treatment, you will take and hold a deep breath in the same way as before, and when your breast area is at the right position, the display lights turn green and AlignRT activates the radiation beam.
A study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics showed that AlignRT plus DIBH effectively prevented radiation-induced abnormalities in blood flow to the heart. Of the breast cancer patients treated, 0% showed these abnormalities after six months. This compares to a previous study in the same journal which noted that without AlignRT or DIBH, 27% of patients showed new abnormalities in blood flow to the heart 6 months after radiation therapy.4
Tattoo-free treatments which have been shown to improve quality of life post-treatment
Previously drawing marks or permanently marking patients with small tattoos was the only option radiation oncologist had to ensure treatment was delivered to a precise location. For many, tattoos can be a painful experience and a constant reminder of their cancer treatment.
With AlignRT®, there is no longer a need to mark patients with tattoos. Tattoo-free treatments have been shown to improve quality of life post-treatment.
The DCISionRT® test combines the latest innovations in molecular biology to deliver the most advanced Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) test available. It is the first biological risk signature developed specifically for DCIS patients and the only test that predicts if you may benefit from radiation therapy. The test looks at the biology of your specific cancer using a comprehensive molecular assessment and determines the risk of your DCIS returning as well as predicting whether you will benefit from treatment.
Your DCISion Score provides valuable information that can be used to help guide your treatment plan with the goal of driving better outcomes. Advanced testing such as DCISionRT® allows you and your clinical team to make a fully informed decision on your next steps for treatment. If you have any questions regarding this test, please speak with your GenesisCare specialist to see if this test is right for you.
4. Zagar et al. Utility of Deep inspiration breath-hold for left sided breast radiation therapy in preventing early cardiac perfusion defects – A Prospective Study. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28333011/)