Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer:
In rare cases, breast cancer can start in other areas of the breast.
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While it is known that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer, every woman, and some men, carry some risk of developing the disease. Early breast cancer often does not cause symptoms. This is why regular breast screenings, such as mammograms, are so important.
As the cancer grows, breast cancer symptoms may include:
Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to the lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.
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Click the button on the right to listen to Dr. Nancy Wiggers, radiation oncologist at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute
Not all men and women have the same risk for developing breast cancer over a lifetime. Certain factors increase an individual's risk, and some have a bigger impact on risk than others. Many risk factors, such as age and gender, are not within our control. Others, especially those related to personal behaviors, can be modified.
Breast cancer risk factors include:
Our Cancer Genetics Program is dedicated to helping patients assess, understand and reduce the risk of developing certain types of genetically influenced cancer such as breast cancer. Individuals with a strong family history of cancer, which may include earlier than average age at cancer diagnosis and multiple family members with the same type of cancer or cancers associated with the same genetic cause (like breast and ovarian), may benefit from a consult with one of our genetic counselors.
Some patients may be referred for a consult after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer and before initiation of treatment. The Cancer Genetics Program can help newly diagnosed patients understand the role that genetics might play in their treatment decisions.
Information is key to early detection. Northside’s Breast Cancer Program is committed to providing women with the education and resources they need to stay healthy.
While there is no guaranteed prevention against breast cancer, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise and avoiding smoking and other tobacco products will reduce the risk of breast cancer.
As part of our comprehensive approach to cancer prevention and education, Northside offers Built To Quit, a smoking and tobacco cessation program offering resources to help individuals quit smoking and stop using other tobacco products. For additional information please call 404-780-7653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the button below to register online for an upcoming class.
Regular mammograms - the only test proven to significantly reduce the rate of death from breast cancer - are pivotal to detecting breast cancer early, when the disease is most treatable.
As a national leader in the fight against breast cancer, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute supports the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommendation for annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Because of their family history, genetic tendency or other risk factors, some women should be screened with a breast MRI in addition to mammography. Talk with your doctor about your personal and family history and whether you should have additional tests or should start screening for breast cancer at an earlier age.
Northside Hospital provides comprehensive breast cancer screening and diagnostic services at convenient locations across Georgia, as well as through our Screen Atlanta Mobile Mammography van.
Call 404-851-6577 to schedule an appointment for a breast cancer screening at one of our imaging center.
A specially equipped van, made possible through a generous grant from the Northside Hospital Atlanta Auxiliary, offers screening mammograms at various locations throughout Georgia communities.
Screen Atlanta is certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and meets the standards set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). Mammograms provided on the mobile unit are of the same high quality as those provided at our outpatient imaging locations. Each mammogram is performed by a Northside Hospital registered radiologic technologist (RRT), with advanced training and certification in mammography, and is interpreted by a board-certified radiologist, who has received advanced training in breast imaging.
Call 770-667-4400 to schedule an appointment with Screen Atlanta.
If patients can't afford a mammogram, Northside is here to help. Through generous grants from community partners such as the Northside Hospital Foundation, Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, Georgia 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer and Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE), Northside is able to provide financial support for mammograms and breast diagnostic services for qualified applicants. For more information about financial support for mammograms, please call 404-531-4444 or download our flyer below.Breast Cancer Screening Eligibility (English) Breast Cancer Screening Eligibility (Spanish)
We offer specialized breast cancer care to diagnose and treat all types of breast cancer, including:
Mammography is the gold standard for breast imaging when diagnosing and screening for breast cancer. It is the only test that has been proven to significantly reduce the rate of death from breast cancer. Northside Hospital performs more than 100,000 mammograms each year.
At Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, we offer a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures to diagnose breast cancer. These diagnostic services are performed in the outpatient setting by radiologists who are sub-specialized in breast imaging procedures.
NHCI offers the following services to diagnose breast cancer:
All Northside Hospital imaging centers are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), and our breast imaging centers are designated as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence (BICOE) by the ACR.
Northside makes scheduling a mammogram or diagnostic service easy with imaging centers throughout Georgia offering evening and weekend hours.
Call 404-851-6577 to schedule an appointment at one of our imaging centers.
The strength of Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Program is our multidisciplinary team of dedicated breast cancer specialists and oncology support services team members. Our expert physicians work together every step of the way to provide individualized care for each breast cancer patient. Northside’s Breast Cancer Program offers a comprehensive scope of medical services, the latest technology, leading-edge clinical research and compassionate care and support.
Our multidisciplinary medical team of breast cancer specialists consists of:
NHCI’s Breast Cancer Program holds weekly multidisciplinary breast cancer conferences to provide a forum for breast cancer specialists to review radiology and pathology images and discuss the best Breast Cancer Treatment Options, including clinical trials, and agree upon an evidence-based treatment plan for each patient. By prospectively discussing breast cancer cases during conference, breast cancer patients get the benefit of not just one clinical perspective but more than a dozen expert opinions.
The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Program is committed to providing high quality breast cancer treatment and making access to breast care as convenient as possible.
Our accredited program treats every type of breast cancer with the latest cancer treatments – including personalized therapies based on the cancer’s specific genetic makeup. Breast cancer treatment requires a team of specialists working together to provide the best care possible for the patient – Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s breast cancer specialists and oncology support services personnel work together to ensure all patients receive high quality, evidence-based care.
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For anyone facing breast cancer treatment and recovery, ongoing support is crucial to a patient’s quality of life. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Program provides a full range of breast cancer support and survivorship programs and services to address the unique needs of each breast cancer patient and survivor.
Breast cancer treatment and recovery can be overwhelming, which is why our Breast Cancer Program offers patients access to oncology nurse navigators to guide them through every step of their cancer journey – from diagnosis and treatment to recovery. Our breast cancer nurse navigators are registered nurses with extensive knowledge and training in oncology. They are available to provide education and support to patients who are diagnosed and/or treated within the Northside Hospital system.
Our oncology nurse navigators facilitate access to Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s comprehensive portfolio of cancer patient support and survivorship services to ensure each breast cancer patient receives coordinated and personalized care.
The Network of Hope (NoH) program connects cancer patients with trained volunteers who have also faced cancer and embraced life afterward. Volunteer cancer survivors and caregivers are available to mentor cancer patients throughout their treatment.