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Breast Cancer Treatment

Along with leading edge technologies and treatment, Northside provides compassionate and personalized care for patients undergoing breast cancer treatment.


Surgery is the first line of defense against most breast cancers. Each type of breast cancer must be evaluated in terms of its unique features to determine which surgery is best for you.

Northside’s highly-skilled surgeons are internationally recognized for their expertise in breast cancer. Not only do they use the latest and most advanced surgical techniques, but they educate other surgeons around the world.

We are one of few hospitals in the country to develop dedicated, women-only Breast Care Surgery Suites, offering patients privacy and comfort.  Patients have access to the most advanced technology, facilities and a team of skilled breast specialists in surgery, radiology, pathology and oncology.

Northside surgeons perform a wide range of procedures including:

Mastectomy and breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor


Chemotherapy, or “chemo” uses medication to destroy cancer cells by stopping growth. For treatment of breast cancer, your Northside Hospital physician may recommend you have chemotherapy before surgery to shrink a tumor; after surgery to reduce the chance of it spreading; or as treatment for a cancer that has recurred. At Northside's Infusion Centers, chemotherapy is provided on an outpatient basis by registered nurses who are certified in chemotherapy administration.

Chemotherapy - what to ask your doctor

For many women undergoing chemotherapy, a major concern is the loss of hair. Northside’s speciality boutique, A Woman’s Place, will help customize your look with a stylish wig, hat or turban should you need it.

Radiation Oncology

A treatment that uses high energy X-rays or radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation may be used before the surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to kill remaining cancerous cells. Learn more about radiation oncology at Northside.

In breast cancer, radiation therapy after surgery is an option for most women who have:

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, non-invasive breast cancer)
  • Early stage breast cancer
  • Locally advanced breast cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer 

Radiation - what to ask your doctor
Learn more about types of breast cancer.

Radiation therapy for breast cancer uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells.  There are two techniques for treating with radiation therapy: External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) and Accelerated Partial Breast Radiation, or brachytherapy. Your radiation oncologist will work with your medical team including a surgeon and a medical oncologist to decide which treatments are best for you.

EBRT is delivered via a linear accelerator to the intact breast, chest wall after mastectomy or a breast reconstruction.  A breast tangential field is designed to cover the intact breast tissue and/or remaining breast tissue after a mastectomy.  It is a very precise method of delivering the radiation to the cancer cells. The goal is to treat the cancer but minimize the radiation exposure to the surrounding tissues. Depending on the stage of disease, regional lymph nodes may also be encompassed in the external beam treatment field.

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) – APBI delivers radiation to the area just around the tumor bed, typically through the administration of MammoSite, Savi or Contura applicator. It is delivered twice a day over 5 treatment days. The procedure involves inserting a small balloon inside the lumpectomy cavity, the radioactive source is placed inside the balloon and the treatment is delivered. Once treatment is completed the balloon is removed and you can return to normal activities. Typical patients are over 50 years of age and lymph node negative, and have a lumpectomy site that will be conformal to the balloon and 1 cm away from the skin surface. 

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies that involve people and are a critical part of oncology research. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat cancer. Northside's Research Program is one of the largest community-based oncology/hematology programs in the nation. It is one of only a handful of programs that offers Phase I-IV clinical research. People who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to scientists’ knowledge about cancer and to help in the development of improved cancer treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts. Learn more about Clinical Trials at Northside.

Hormonal Therapy

When cancer arises in areas of the body such as the breast or prostate tissue, its growth may be caused by hormones. Hormones stimulate the growth of hormone sensitive tissues, and therefore, drugs that block or change the way hormones work, can fight some cancers. Removal of organs that secrete hormones, such as the ovaries or testicles, may also prove as effective treatment for hormone-stimulated cancers.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapies are designed to only treat the cancer cells, and therefore, minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. In order to become cancer cells, healthy cells must go through a process called carcinogenesis. Targeted therapy disrupts this process and the cellular changes necessary for development and growth.

Biological Therapy

Biological therapy, also called immunotherapy, uses the body’s immune system to treat cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapy that fights cancer cells directly, biological therapy helps the immune system to fight cancer cells.


Northside Hospital - Atlanta

1000 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 851-8000

Northside Hospital - Cherokee

201 Hospital Road
Canton, GA 30114
(770) 720-5100

Northside Hospital - Forsyth

1200 Northside Forsyth Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 844-3200

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