At New England Breast and Wellness, we take a minimally invasive approach to breast cancer diagnosis, staging, and treatment. We aim to diagnose breast cancer at the earliest stage possible and save as much of the breast tissues as safely possible. Your patient care program and treatment plans are overseen and curated by Dr. Katherina Calvillo, a breast cancer specialist and surgeon with 16 years experience at Harvard, in coordination with various other Harvard-affiliated doctors.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- Lump felt in or near the breast
- Swelling in or near the breast
- Thickening of the breast
- Breast pain
- Nipple tenderness
- Scaling, crusting, or redness of the areola
- Bloody or clear nipple discharge
- Nipple inversion
- Change in the skin texture of the breast
- Dimpling of the breast skin
- Pitted appearance of the breast skin
- Other unexplained changes in the shape and size of the breasts
Breast Cancer Staging
Breast cancer staging refers to the practice of determining the cancer’s specific characteristics, including the size, location, spread, and whether it has hormone receptors. Determining the breast cancer stage helps doctors determine the likely outcome and curate the ideal treatment plan for you.
Breast cancer stages are usually expressed on a scale of 0 to IV — 0 refers to non-invasive cancers that don’t spread to surrounding tissues, and IV refers to extremely invasive cancers that have spread to other parts of the body.
The following is an overview of the methods used for breast cancer staging:
- TNM System: The TNM (tumor, lymph node, metastasis) system identifies the size of the primary tumor, the size and location of the lymph nodes where the cancer cells have spread, and whether the cancer cells have invaded other parts of the body.
- Grading System: The grading system assesses how quickly the breast tumor is likely to grow and spread into the surrounding lymph nodes and other parts of the body. It examines how abnormal the cancer cells look and how quickly they spread.
- Biomarker Test: The biomarker test determines if the breast cancer cells have certain receptors necessary for healthy cellular function, such as the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor type 2 receptor (HER2).
An accurate diagnosis and staging is necessary to curate an appropriate treatment plan. Dr. Calvillo works with the country’s leading Harvard-affiliated radiologists and pathologists to detect and evaluate breast cancers. She uses the most advanced staging techniques to identify and arrest the growth of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatment
Dr. Calvillo will curate a personalized treatment plan based on numerous factors, such as the type of breast cancer, the stage of breast cancer, your general health and medical history, and your preferences. Generally speaking, a comprehensive breast cancer treatment plan involves a combination of five treatments — surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies.
The following is an overview of the breast cancer treatment options:
- Surgery: You may undergo a lumpectomy (the diseased part of the breast is removed), mastectomy (one breast is removed), or a double mastectomy (both breasts are removed).
- Radiation Therapy: High-energy radiation is used to destroy cancer cells and tumors without harming the healthy breast tissues.
- Hormone Therapy: This technique may be used to treat breast cancers deemed to be sensitive to certain hormones.
- Chemotherapy: Intravenous and oral drugs are used to kill breast cancer cells.
- Targeted Therapy: Various techniques are used to block the proteins leading to the growth and spread of tumors.
Breast Cancer Care in Wellesley, MA
Dr. Katherina Calvillo will develop and coordinate a personalized treatment plan according to your unique requirements. She works in coordination with numerous Harvard-affiliated hospitals and doctors and oversees every aspect of your journey. We understand that the possibility of breast cancer can be harrowing, so we provide intimate, personalized care to support you in these trying times. If you have the signs or symptoms of breast cancer, please schedule an appointment at our medical center in Wellesley, MA.