Breast Cancer

Expert team delivering compassionate care

Breast Cancer Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth

At the nationally accredited Beth Israel Lahey Health Breast Center – Plymouth, we offer breast health care — from diagnosis through treatment and beyond in a comfortable, local setting.

Whether you need routine care or are battling a more serious condition like breast cancer, we’re here to support you. Our team is experienced in providing care to all adults of all ages and conditions, including both males and females with breast cancer.

We offer these services:

  • Breast biopsy
  • Consultation with a fellowship-trained breast surgeon
  • Mammography screening
  • Nurse navigator support
  • Ultrasounds
  • Genetic counseling/high risk consults
  • Clinical trial/research participation

We bring together experts in breast surgery, radiology and other specialty areas. Our multidisciplinary program provides you with easy access to complete clinical and support services. We seamlessly integrate hospital services with complex testing, such as biopsy guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone density scans.

Leading Best Practices for Breast Health

Located at 45 Home Depot Drive in Plymouth, our spacious center offers a light and bright spa-like atmosphere. You can receive breast care in one convenient location, featuring:

  • A first-floor entry for convenient building accessibility.
  • Increased privacy at check-in and check-out areas.
  • Patient lounges for imaging and diagnostics.

If you need further treatments or consultations, our own specialists and physicians at BID Plymouth may coordinate your care with other experts from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Our Breast Diagnosis, Screening & Treatment Options

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth provides a broad range of screening exams and services to diagnose and treat various types of breast cancer. We also diagnose and treat benign (non-cancerous) conditions, such as breast cysts and gynecomastia. We aim to offer you personalized breast care throughout your journey of comprehensive breast health.

3D Mammography

We use 3D mammograms to effectively pinpoint the size, shape and location of potential breast abnormalities. Mammography is a detailed radiograph of the breast. It creates an image of the tissue inside the breast. Our care teams use mammography to identify lumps, tumors or other abnormalities that are too small to find by touch alone.

A screening mammogram is a routine test to look at breast tissue without any physical abnormalities or symptoms. This test can detect a cancerous or precancerous finding before a provider can find it during a clinical exam.

A diagnostic mammogram evaluates physical findings or symptoms that you or your doctor may have found. This test captures standard mammogram images as well as images focused on the area in question. To get a good picture, the imaging machine compresses the breast firmly to keep it from moving. In some cases, your care team may reposition your breast to take more pictures. If this occurs, don’t be concerned.

Some patients need other breast imaging tests, such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Breast MRI

A breast MRI uses a powerful but harmless magnetic field to create an image of the body. This doesn’t involve X-rays or radiation. Your cancer care team may use this type of imaging in addition to mammography and ultrasound. If a breast MRI reveals an abnormality, your care team may recommend you have a focused ultrasound.

If your specialist can see an abnormality with ultrasound, they may perform a biopsy. If your specialist cannot see the abnormality with ultrasound, they may recommend an MRI-guided biopsy or other testing.

Breast Ultrasound

An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the body. In some cases, the technician may perform ultrasound via the axilla (arm pit) to assess your lymph nodes. The ultrasound machine sends sound waves into your body and collects them after they bounce off tissues.

A computer collects these sound waves and creates an image of the tissues. Your radiologist then examines the images to determine the location and nature of abnormality.

Core needle biopsy

A core biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure to determine the pathology (diagnosis) of an abnormality or finding from mammogram, ultrasound or MRI. A member of your care team uses a needle to get a small tissue sample. They then send the sample to the pathologist to examine it. Your care team will share the results of the biopsy within two to three business days.

Oncotype DX test

Oncotype DX is a diagnostic tool that allows the medical oncologist to target therapy specific to your tumor and your needs. If you are sentinel node negative and have estrogen receptors in your tumor cells, your cancer care team may recommend this test. The oncotype DX test evaluates the 21 genes present in your cancerous tumor.

Your care team uses statistical methods to generate a recurrence score:

  • If your recurrence score is low, you may only require endocrine therapy (Tamoxifen or Aromatase inhibitors). That’s because this treatment gives the greatest effect to reduce recurrence.
  • If the recurrent score is high, your care team may recommend you have endocrine therapy plus chemotherapy. That’s because chemotherapy gives the greatest benefit, and adding endocrine therapy gives additional benefit.
Breast Reconstructive Surgery

Those who’ve had surgery (such as mastectomy) for breast cancer have many options for breast reconstruction. The best option for you depends on your personal medical history and preferences. Our plastic surgeon will work with our breast surgeons to coordinate your personalized surgical plan. Options include rearrangement of breast tissue, reduction in breast size and/or implant placement.

Chemotherapy

In addition to surgical treatment, having chemotherapy can help further decrease the chance of cancer returning in your breast or other areas of your body. There are certain drugs that our team considers to be standard for care. However, we offer clinical trials for those who meet certain criteria and wish to participate.

Hidden Scar Surgery

Our surgeons offer hidden scar surgery, an advanced approach to removing breast cancer or tissue at risk of breast cancer. The hidden scar approach allows your surgeon to make the incision in a location that is hard to see, so your scar is not visible when it heals.

Immunotherapy

Another prognostic test that we offer at BID Plymouth is growth factor receptor testing. If human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is present in the cancerous tumor, your care team may recommend targeted therapy using a new drug, Herceptin. Another name for immunotherapy is biological therapy.

Mastectomy

Mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction is surgical removal of all breast tissue, including the nipple areolar complex.

Radiation therapy

Our care team typically uses radiation therapy along with breast conservation surgery. That’s because radiation therapy can help prevent cancer from recurring in the same breast.

Sentinel node biopsy

Your care team may use sentinel node excision with either breast conservation or mastectomy procedures. Lymphatic mapping is a sophisticated method of identifying the first lymph nodes (usually 1-3) that drain the tumor. This is called the sentinel node. This procedure shows sentinel nodes in the axilla (arm pit) on the same side as the affected breast.

Your surgeon removes the sentinel node(s) and evaluates them at the time of the breast conservation surgery or mastectomy. A sentinel node that contains cancer cells indicates that your surgeon needs to remove more tissue. A sentinel node without cancer cells doesn’t require more extensive surgery.

Nationally Recognized Cancer Care

napbc

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a quality program administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted accredited status to the Beth Israel Lahey Health Breast Center – Plymouth. NAPBC is granted only to those programs that are committed to providing the best possible care to patients with breast cancer.

Treatments We Offer

Our expert care teams are proud to provide the latest in effective treatment options for breast cancer, including:

  • Breast Reconstructive Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hidden Scar Surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mastectomy
  • Radiation Therapy

Meet the Cancer Care Team

Beth Israel Deaconess–Plymouth's team of cancer care physicians is highly trained in a variety of testing and diagnostic areas.