Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells within the breast. Breast cancer begins in the breast tissue, which is comprised of glands used for milk production (called lobules) and ducts that connect these lobules to the nipple. The remainder of the breast is made up of fatty, connective and lymphatic tissue.
With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, and the second leading cause of cancer death.
Many breast lumps turn out to be non-cancerous, though a malignant lump can mean that the cancer has already spread beyond the breast. That’s why it’s crucial to get regular breast screenings, so your doctor can catch and treat any concerns before they become serious.
Whether you have a family history of breast cancer, or just want to stay on top of your health, CHI Saint Joseph Health offers the preventive services and support you need for your peace of mind. Start by understanding your personal breast cancer risk factors, and how you can take control right away. If you have a family history of breast cancer, or other factors that may increase your risk, we also offer comprehensive cancer genetic counseling and testing, as well as preventive measures, if needed.
If you are 40 and older, getting an annual mammogram is your best weapon against breast cancer. Mammography has proven to be the most effective tool for detecting breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable. CHI Saint Joseph Health offers all-digital mammography, producing images that can be magnified to pinpoint specific areas. We also offer 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) to detect tumors, especially in patients with dense breast tissue.
To schedule your quick and easy mammogram, find a screening location near you.
Not all breast problems are cancer, but if you’re diagnosed, rest assured you have some of the Commonwealth’s best experts by your side. Our dedicated care team—including medical and radiation oncologists, breast surgeons, breast radiologists, specially trained nurses, physical therapists and more—work closely to create a personalized cancer treatment plan. Should you need surgery, we offer a full range of breast procedures, including mastectomy, lumpectomy, breast reconstruction and more to help return you to good health. And you have access to breast cancer clinical trials, right here at home.
Throughout your journey, you’ll find a variety of cancer support services to meet your physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs. We’ll also help you coordinate your care, connect you to valuable resources and provide extra comfort and support at each step.