World-Class Breast Cancer Treatment at Tampa General Hospital
Breast cancer refers to the group of cancers that originate in the tissues of the breast. In some cases, this cancer can grow, or metastasize, beyond the original location to affect other areas of the body. Like other forms of cancer, breast cancers develop when one cell with abnormal DNA doesn’t follow the typical cycle of cell life and death, but rather lives indefinitely, reproducing more cells with similarly damaged DNA. The resulting mass of cells is deemed cancerous if it invades other tissues (some breast tumors are benign, or not cancerous).
At Tampa General Hospital, we diagnose and treat breast cancer every day, but we never forget the patient behind the condition. Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating, and worry and fear can set in when there are no immediate answers. For this reason, our multidisciplinary breast cancer team is dedicated to fast turnaround times for appointments, and in many cases, can provide same-day results and treatments, from biopsies to minimally invasive breast interventions and excisions performed on an outpatient basis.
In addition, Tampa General Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10% in the nation for Cancer Care.
OUR COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO BREAST CANCER TREATMENT
At TGH, we view breast cancer care as more than just diagnosis and treatment. In fact, we promote overall breast health and care in a variety of ways. Here’s how we do it:
A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM
Our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists—including some of the top breast cancer oncologists and surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, genetic counselors and many others—utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide a comprehensive treatment plan customized to each patient’s individual needs. Our team is at the forefront of advances in breast cancer treatment and designs plan that deliver the best possible outcome and quality of life for our patients.
STATE-OF-THE-ART DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING FOR BREAST CANCER
We offer an array of advanced diagnostic breast cancer imaging tests, including image-guided biopsies, mammograms and ultrasounds. We also use molecular breast imaging technology, an incredible diagnostic tool that allows us to detect recurrences as small as 1 and 2 millimeters in size and prevents unnecessary biopsies.
GENETIC TESTING AND COUNSELING
Genetics can play a role in the development of breast cancer, so people who have a family history of cancer and non-cancerous diseases of the breast may be at a higher risk for developing breast cancers. We offer genetic counseling for qualified breast cancer patients and can provide highly targeted treatments as a result.
It’s important to note that genetic and other risk factors don’t necessarily cause breast cancer—they only increase the likelihood. In many cases, breast cancer patients have no known risk factors other than being female.
Breast cancer surgery can be an effective element of a comprehensive treatment plan. Our board-certified breast surgeons perform a variety of high-tech, minimally invasive breast cancer procedures with the goal of sparing as much breast tissue as possible and removing all traces of cancer. Our procedures include oncoplastic surgery and innovative partial breast radiation. In addition, we offer non-invasive axillary nodal staging, a novel staging technique that can be performed without going to the operating room. Our experts are the only ones in the world performing this technique.
BREAST CANCER SUPPORT SERVICES
Breast cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, it affects many other facets of life and family members, too. We offer nutrition counseling, social service networks, financial support services and family support for our breast cancer patients for a truly robust approach to breast cancer treatment.
Our partnership with the University of South Florida makes us an academic teaching hospital and puts us at the forefront of exciting research and developments in breast cancer care. We participate in clinical trials that explore a range of different approaches to treatment, such as neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which is chemotherapy before a cancer operation.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCING BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms of breast cancer will vary, but some general warning signs include a lump in the breast or armpit; changes to the skin over the breast or in the overall appearance, size or shape of the breast; and bloody discharge from the nipple. If you’re experiencing any of these abnormal changes with your breasts, you should be examined right away by a TGH oncologist who specializes in breast cancer. For a physician referral or to schedule an appointment, call 813-844-7585 or use our searchable database to find a doctor.