Breast cancer is most common in women, but can also affect men. Often, breast cancer is detected through a lump in the breast or a noticeable change in the size, shape or skin of a breast. Mammograms are crucial for diagnosis and early detection of breast cancer.
Breast cancer treatment in Nashville, Tennessee, and Bowling Green, Kentucky
If you have breast cancer, we offer effective treatment and compassionate support.
When you have a cancer diagnosis, you need efficient, exceptional medical care. TriStar Health's care team provides all of this and more with advanced treatment plans designed just for you.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.
Understanding breast cancer risks and symptoms
We strongly advocate for our patients to take charge of their health. One of the best ways to address breast cancer is by catching it early, and by knowing your potential risk factors and what signs to look for, you are giving yourself a chance at a healthier future.
Possible risk factors for breast cancer
Understanding the genetic and lifestyle factors that place you at a higher risk of breast cancer is so important. Some possible risk factors include:
- Age: Breast cancer is most common in women ages 55 to 64.
- Genetics: About 5–10 percent of breast cancer can be identified as genetically hereditary.
- Family history: Having a sibling, parent or child with breast cancer.
- Breast density: As density of the breast increases, risk increases.
- Ionizing radiation of breasts before puberty
- Obesity: Obesity after menopause increases breast cancer risk.
- Alcohol consumption: Those who have two to five drinks daily have higher risk than women who don't drink alcohol.
It's a good idea to talk with your physician regularly about your individualized risk for breast cancer, and what proactive measures you can take to protect yourself. You are never too old or young to take charge of your health.
Common signs of breast cancer
Although it is possible that breast cancer can develop without any noticeable signs, some of the most common symptoms of cancer include:
- A new lump or mass, which may be painless or painful, hard or soft.
- Swelling in all or part of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction, meaning the nipple turns inward
- A change in the skin of the nipple/breast, either color or texture
- Nipple discharge that isn't breast milk
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm/collarbone
If you notice any concerning changes, or if you are concerned about your breast health, please discuss it with your physician. Your doctor will be able to guide you toward answers and peace of mind.
Our breast cancer treatments and services
Breast cancer can be a complex and overwhelming diagnosis. That's why we provide a wide range of medical and support services to help you maintain your physical, emotional and mental health.
Services and support we offer
We strive to provide all the services that you may need, day one of diagnosis and beyond. You are deserving of care that is tailored to you and your personal health, and we work to deliver that every single day.
Prevention and imaging services
One of the best ways to fight breast cancer is to catch it early, which is why we advocate strongly for you and all eligible patients to schedule a cancer screening. Women between 50 and 54 years old should have a mammogram every year, while women 55 years old and older can switch to scheduling mammograms every two years, or can continue yearly screenings. If you have family members who have had breast cancer, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about whether or not starting to receive mammograms earlier than 50 is the right choice for you.
We offer advanced imaging services to aid in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. Prevention and early discovery are the best tools we have to protect you and your health.
Breast cancer surgery
Both you and your health dictate what sort of treatments will be offered to you. Our team will work with you to determine what care plan works best for you. One of the options that may be offered is surgical intervention, either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.
- A lumpectomy is the removal of a tumor in the breast, as well as the surrounding damaged or abnormal tissue. This procedure is considered a breast-conserving surgery, as only a portion of the breast is removed. After surgery, you may also have radiation therapy treatments to remove any remaining cancer cells.
- A mastectomy is the surgical removal of the entire breast. You can have a unilateral mastectomy to remove one breast or a bilateral mastectomy to remove both. This is a more significant operation, and is used in more advanced cases.
If one of these options is chosen as the best treatment for you, our team of oncology experts will work with you to make sure that your recovery is as smooth as possible.
Breast cancer support
We understand that a breast cancer diagnosis is not something that anyone is ever prepared for, which is why we make every effort to be there to support you and bring you the care you deserve.
Healthcare navigator services
If you receive a diagnosis of cancer, you will be paired with one of our specialized breast health navigators, a healthcare professional who is trained specifically in breast cancer care. They will be there for you and your family to help you:
- Understand your diagnosis and available treatment options
- Overcome barriers and coordinate care with the healthcare team
- Understand your medications
- Connect you with outside resource centers for cancer support and breast cancer-related services
- Schedule appointments and treatments
In addition, our navigators can provide you with educational materials, answer your questions and connect you with potential clinical trials, if applicable.
Sometimes, you need more than just medical care. Fortunately, there are numerous support groups for you and your loved ones in Nashville and the surrounding areas. Whether you are handling the diagnosis of a family member or confronting your own diagnosis, these support groups will help you feel more confident and secure in your own health. We invite you to visit our support group page, or speak with your breast health navigator for more information.
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Read our blogs to learn about preventive care and ways you can lead a healthier lifestyle.