Learn how our breast cancer nurse navigators help support our patients.
Breast Cancer Treatment
We believe the successful treatment of breast cancer involves a number of different factors. First and foremost we want you to feel that you are part of the process. This is not about us dictating what you should do; we are here to listen to your fears and concerns, then work together to overcome what most likely will be the greatest challenge of your life.
You can be assured of receiving the highest standard of care from us as we are one of four institutions nationwide to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by the National Consortium of Breast Centers, and we are accredited by the National Accreditation Program of Breast Centers.
A Nurse Navigator works directly with you to overcome the biggest challenge of your life.
Understanding Your Treatment Options
What makes John Muir Health unique is all of our breast cancer patients have access to a Nurse Navigator who is available to you whenever you need help. She becomes your partner in helping to understand what you are facing and how to overcome the obstacles.
Your managing physician has access to a multi-disciplinary cancer case conference (tumor board) where a team of medical experts review complex cases and make treatment recommendations. The expert panel consists of a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist, plastic surgeon, and an obstetrician/gynecologist. Discuss with your physician whether this is an option for you.
The advanced breast cancer treatments available at John Muir Health include the full complement of advanced surgical techniques, the most sophisticated radiation oncology options, the newest chemotherapy and hormonal agents and, if necessary, an experienced team of breast reconstruction plastic surgeons. Many patients receive combined modality therapy incorporating two or more types of treatments to increase effectiveness.
Our recommended treatment plan is based on the specific type of breast cancer and its potential for spread, the stage of your cancer, whether it is localized or metastasized, and the presence of other variables such as hormone receptors, your age and other medical conditions.
Ultimately how you wish to be treated is your decision. Our goal is to make sure you understand what is available to you and what to expect at every point in the treatment, then to have an open discussion about what course would work best for you.
If you have lymph nodes removed or are treated with radiation as part of your breast cancer treatment, you may experience lymphedema, a chronic condition that causes lymph nodes or vessels to swell. The John Muir Health lymphedema program provides treatment, education, and home management programs to help you keep lymphedema under control.
Through partnerships with the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Yale Cancer Center, John Muir Health participates in a number of clinical trials for new treatments of breast cancer. If there’s a trial we believe could be beneficial for your treatment, we will discuss the option with you.