Chemotherapy, Treatment and Radiation

Chemotherapy

In some instances, chemotherapy is ordered prior to your surgery. Importantly, our center provides a true multidisciplinary treatment clinic. This means that all specialties are in the same room as we mutually recommend care decisions for you. This includes surgery, nutrition, genetics, chemotherapy and radiation.

Not all patients receive chemotherapy.

Radiation

Many patients receive radiation within about four to six weeks after surgery. There are two types of radiation; intraoperative that occurs during surgery and standard radiation that occurs for about six days per week at one of our convenient locations (Kenwood, Good Samaritan Hospital or our Medi-Center on Bethesda North Campus).

When you are hormone positive

Some individuals are hormone positive. Our lead geneticists work with you and will recommend an appropriate endocrine therapy. This process suppresses estrogen and often becomes part of your life for five years. It also decreases your chances of a return of cancer.

Hormone therapy

Tests can determine if the cancer is sensitive to estrogen or progesterone. If the test is positive, it means that the cancer cells grow when one or both of these hormones are present. You may be given a hormone blocker (a pill) that prevents your body's natural hormones from reaching the cancer.

Follow-Up with Your Surgeon

Once you are through treatment and surgery, your surgeon follows up. This provides further options regarding surgery, reconstruction and your prognosis.

Many women choose to have reconstructive cosmetic surgery after breast cancer treatments. We offer:

  • Anaplastic surgery: Breast-conserving surgery in combination with plastic surgery techniques, such as reduction mammoplasty, which optimizes aesthetic outcomes.
  • Breast reconstruction: This surgery reconstructs a breast that's been removed with silicone or saline implants or by using muscle, fat and skin from other parts of the body. Though you won’t get a breast with all the natural feelings, it can give you a result that looks like a breast.
  • Breast form-fitting services: Breast forms come in a variety of shapes and sizes and fit into specially designed lingerie. They help your body maintain its balance and help you avoid upper back and neck pain, not to mention help you feel more self-confident.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.