Suburban Surgical Associates/Suburban Metabolic Institute
General Surgeons located in Berwyn, IL, Elmhurst, IL & La Grange, IL
Roughly one in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lifetime. Whether you need a biopsy to diagnose a suspicious area in your breast or you need a surgical evaluation because cancer has already been diagnosed, you can count on the compassionate and experienced care provided by the physicians at Suburban Surgical Associates/Suburban Metabolic Institute. If you have questions about how to proceed following a breast cancer diagnosis, please call one of our offices in Berwyn, or La Grange, Illinois, or request an appointment online.
Breast Cancer Q & A
What increases your risk for breast cancer?
Breast cancer most often develops after the age of 55, so your risk increases as you get older. You may also have a higher risk of you are overweight or have:
- Family history of breast cancer
- Benign breast disease
- Early menstruation or late menopause
- First pregnancy after age 30
- BRCA and PALB2 gene mutations
- Radiation exposure for cancer treatment
While men can develop breast cancer, it’s very rare: Fewer than 1% of all cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in men.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The most common symptoms caused by breast cancer include:
- Lumps or thickening in your breast
- Change in the size, shape, or appearance of your breast
- Change in the appearance of skin over your breast
- Newly inverted nipple
- Peeling, scaling, or crusting of skin around your nipple
- Discharge from your nipple
However, it's essential to know that breast cancer is often asymptomatic, and many cancers are picked up on screening mammograms in their earliest and most treatable stages.
How is breast cancer diagnosed and treated?
The physicians at Suburban Surgical Associates provide comprehensive surgical care for breast cancer. They can perform breast biopsies to verify whether you have breast cancer and if so, they may recommend surgery to remove cancerous tissues.
Breast cancer treatments often involve a combination of surgery, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy, and our surgeons work as part of a tightly integrated oncology team, so your ongoing treatment is fully coordinated.
However, each patient and every cancer is different, so we work closely with our medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, and other healthcare professionals to ensure you get the optimal care possible. You’ll receive expert care during procedures such as:
Breast lumpectomy conserves your breast by only removing the tumor and a small amount of the surrounding breast tissue. It preserves the contour and cosmetic appearance of the breast, although a plastic surgeon may also provide services to restore symmetry and cosmesis. Lumpectomy is often followed by radiation therapy to ensure optimal treatment.
Mastectomy refers to surgery to remove your entire breast; it usually isn’t necessary if you receive a diagnosis at an early stage. Mastectomy may be medically necessary when the cancer is present in several locations in your breast, or when your surgeon would have to remove too much tissue during a lumpectomy to achieve a good cosmetic result. Sometimes, it may be a preferred option for other reasons as well.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy
Frequently, a biopsy of axillary lymph nodes in the armpit area is necessary to identify the stage of breast cancer accurately and to determine any adjuvant treatments that might benefit you.
In a sentinel lymph node dissection, the surgeon identifies the first few nodes that filter fluid and lymph traveling from the breast. If there’s no evidence of cancer in the sentinel nodes, then the other nodes will be cancer free as well.
In some cases, a complete axillary lymph node dissection needs to be done after or instead of the less invasive sentinel node procedure.