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Breast Cancer

You’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Just like that, everything has changed.

Now what?

Nervous. Confused. Hopeful. Worried. Whatever you’re feeling is the right feeling.

And we’re here for you.

We’ll be alongside you every step of the way through your Care Plan, marrying the clinical with the compassionate, providing you the precise care, and caring, you need.

You’ll surely have many questions as you progress through your Care Plan. What will treatment be like? Is a clinical trial right for me? Are there classes and programs that can help me learn more about my cancer? What other resources are available to me?

Breast Cancer Basics Treatments and Procedures

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is breast cancer?

    A: Breast cancer is a malignant cancer tumor that starts in cells of the breast. It is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. Although most commonly found in women, men can get breast cancer, too. There are several types of breast cancer identified by their behavior and where they begin in the breast. Learn more from the American Cancer Society’s website, as well.
  • Q: Does OhioHealth treat breast cancer?

    A: Yes, OhioHealth treats people with breast cancer at all of our hospitals in and around central Ohio. The OhioHealth Breast Health Program’s skilled and caring team of professionals combine clinical expertise with compassionate care, surrounding you with support and providing you with unparalleled breast cancer care.
  • Q: What breast cancer services are offered at OhioHealth?


    OhioHealth is a comprehensive cancer healthcare provider, with numerous campuses providing care throughout central Ohio. These are the breast cancer services of the OhioHealth Breast Health Program:

    • OhioHealth Breast Health doctors in five specialties who adhere to the highest standards in breast cancer care
    • State-of-the-art technology for screening and detection with multiple screening locations
    • Advanced treatment options
    • Multidisciplinary collaboration among cancer experts
    • Radiation oncology services
    • Breast Health Nurse, providing navigation, education and support
    • Free Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic
    • Support services
    • Cancer genetic counseling and testing
    • High Risk Breast Clinic
    • Cancer wellness programs
    • Clinical trials
  • Q: What happens now that I’ve been diagnosed?

    A: If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, we’ll do everything we can to quickly determine the best treatment options for your individual situation. That includes presenting your case to a team of doctors and nurses during a weekly OhioHealth Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Pre-treatment Conference where your treatment plan is designed.

    Your surgeon will talk to you about your treatment plan, also referred to as your Cancer Care Plan. After a thorough discussion with your surgeon to evaluate all of your options, for added peace of mind, you may want to consider a second opinion.

    OhioHealth provides a free Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic during which a volunteer team of expert doctors again reviews your case and meets with you to discuss your treatment plan and answer questions related to your diagnosis and treatment.

    You’ll receive comprehensive support from a dedicated Breast Health Nurse through your entire Care Plan.
  • Q: Who are the members of the breast health care team?


    When you become an OhioHealth Breast Health Program patient, an entire team of experts works for you, providing a complete approach to breast care. You can be confident in any of the 70 doctors in five specialties who are members of the OhioHealth Breast Health Program because each pledges to adhere to best practice clinical standards.

    Your team of medical experts and Breast Health Nurses specialize in all areas of breast health care, working together to analyze your specific case and develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for you — a total solution for your total breast health.

    Passionately dedicated to providing you with the information, counsel and care you need, your team includes:

    • Breast Health Nurses
    • radiologists
    • surgeons
    • pathologists
    • medical oncologists
    • radiation oncologists
    • research nurses
    • oncology nurses
    • plastic surgeons
    • genetic counselors
    • counselors
    • social workers
    • dietitians
    • pharmacists
    • art and massage therapists
  • Q: What is the Pre-Treatment Conference?

    A: The OhioHealth Breast Health Program is unique because 100% of all breast cancer cases are reviewed at the Pre-Treatment Conference. Here, a multidisciplinary team of doctors reviews all your imaging and lab results and together they design your best treatment plan. Then, treatment recommendations are made to your doctor. Experts at the pre-treatment conference include radiology, pathology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology and plastic surgery.
  • Q: Who do I ask for help and how do I ask for it?

    A: When you learn you have breast cancer, you want every resource, every option and every answer at your fingertips. Our skilled and caring professionals are ready to surround you with support and provide you with unparalleled breast cancer care.

    Once you start your cancer care with OhioHealth, you’ll have a Breast Health Nurse you can contact when you need help. If they are unable to help you, they’ll direct you to the right place. For a Breast Health Nurse, call 1 (800) 752.9119.
  • Q: Where do I find more information about breast cancer?

    A: There's a lot of information about breast cancer on the Web and in bookstores. We recommend that you start with The American Cancer Society and the National Institutes on Health for their comprehensive expertise. From there you'll find more resources.
  • Q: What is a Breast Health Nurse and what can they do for me?


    Breast Health Nurses are registered, oncology (cancer)-trained nurses with specialized training in breast health.

    Breast Health Nurses assist patients and their families in:

    • Communicating with healthcare professionals
    • Understanding a diagnosis
    • Understanding procedures and treatments
    • Finding helpful programs and services
      • Exercise and stress management
      • Counseling
      • Caregiver support
    • Clinical trials
    • Connect you with a Genetic counselor if needed
    • Survivorship care
    • Getting information and support
      • Resources for prevention and early detection of cancer
      • Patient and family education (classes and support groups)
    • Developing skills to maintain control over their care

    OhioHealth's Breast Health Nurses are located in our five central Ohio hospitals: Riverside Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital and Dublin Methodist Hospital, as well as several of the OhioHealth neighborhood health centers located around the Columbus area.

  • Q: What is the High Risk Breast Health Clinic?


    For women at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, a more comprehensive approach is needed. The OhioHealth High Risk Breast Clinic helps women understand and manage their increased breast cancer risk by providing:

    • On-going cancer surveillance for women at high-risk
    • State-of-the-art digital mammography screening, ultrasound and MRI technology to help detect breast problems earlier
    • Support from the OhioHealth Breast Health Program, combined with the expertise of the OhioHealth Cancer Genetics Program

    An evaluation of personal and/or family history of cancer and how it may impact medical management

  • Q: Who is part of my personal support team?

    A: Your OhioHealth Breast Health Nurse will be your guide and your facilitator, your source of information and support. She will help you and your family with what to expect, and make sure you fully understand your treatment and any procedures you may undergo.
  • Q: What are the costs related to breast cancer treatment, and will my insurance cover the costs?

    A: Each breast cancer patient's costs will vary depending on the diagnosis, treatment and care options. For any other questions about coverage, it's a good idea to contact your insurance provider to find out what will be covered.

    OhioHealth contracts with insurance plans on behalf of its hospitals, facilities and doctors. All OhioHealth Neighborhood Care locations accept the same insurance plans as Riverside Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital and Dublin Methodist Hospital. View the accepted insurance plans.

    For information about insurance plans accepted by your doctor, please see our physician directory and call your doctor's office to verify insurance accepted.

    OhioHealth financial assistance programs are available to help patients with limited resources.
  • Q: What is the Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic?


    At the Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic, a volunteer team of OhioHealth Breast Health doctors meets one-on-one with breast cancer patients to again review all the diagnostic results to provide a second opinion and answer questions related to breast cancer diagnoses and treatments, offering additional perspective and peace of mind.

    The free Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic:

    • Offers a second thorough review of diagnostic findings
    • Clarifies your treatment options
    • Is staffed by an all-volunteer multi-specialty team of doctors that meets with you and your family solely to discuss your breast cancer condition
  • Q: What will happen at the Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic?

    • A single consultation with all the experts
    • Patient examination by a breast cancer specialist
    • Second extensive case review and treatment recommendation by a multi-specialty team of research and treatment doctors
    • Answer patient questions
    • Final Care Plan shared with patient and primary care doctor
  • Q: How serious is my breast cancer diagnosis?

    A: Thanks to earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease, breast cancer survival rates have increased and the number of deaths has declined.

    That said, there are several types of breast cancer. The stage of the cancer and how far along it is in development may affect the outcome.

    Talk with your doctor about the seriousness of your breast cancer diagnosis. He or she will know your medical condition best, and will be best equipped to answer your questions.
  • Q: Is my breast cancer treatable?


    This is a question to ask your doctor and the breast health care team working closely with you on your Cancer Care Plan. Imaging exams, lab work and a biopsy may be required before your breast cancer treatment options can be determined. As more is known about the type and stage of your breast cancer, your team will be able to give you more answers and options about treatment.

    OhioHealth offers comprehensive breast cancer treatment options that are considered “best practice”, including:

    • Breast-conserving surgery
    • Mammosite® – high dose rate radiation therapy, called brachytherapy
    • Advanced intensity-modulated radiation therapy
    • Radiation therapy for pain and symptom management
    • Chemotherapy
    • Hormone therapy and biologics
    • Clinical trials
  • Q: Will surgery be part of my treatment?

    A: Whether surgery will be considered part of your treatment depends on your individual cancer condition, as well as how well you would respond to surgery. Your doctor and others on your Cancer Care Team will work closely with you to help determine treatment options best for you.
  • Q: What should I expect from my breast cancer surgery?

    A: Every breast cancer surgery experience is different, and every person responds differently. The National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society websites offer a comprehensive overview of what to expect.

Want more answers? Browse all of the OhioHealth cancer patient FAQs. General FAQ

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