Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Nationally Accredited Breast Cancer Care

Cleveland Clinic Florida excels at providing exceptional breast health services to patients throughout the Treasure Coast and South Florida. Our multidisciplinary physician team of breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and plastic surgeons work together to provide customized, coordinated care for patients. We offer the highest-quality screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Breast health starts with taking the first step, schedule a mammogram at a location near you. Cleveland Clinic provides numerous imaging and diagnostics locations in Florida for your convenience.

Accreditations

Maroone Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital

  • Commission on Cancer® Accredited Program
  • Accredited Breast Center by NAPBC®
  • Radiation Oncology Accredited Facility by ACR®

Robert and Carol Weissman Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health

  • Commission on Cancer® Accredited Program
  • Accredited Breast Center by NAPBC®

Scully-Welsh Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital

  • Commission on Cancer® Accredited Program
  • Radiation Oncology Accredited Facility by ACR®
What We Treat

What We Treat

Breast Cancer Treatment Options

A range of treatment options is available to patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer: surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and clinical trials, to name a few. Cleveland Clinic Florida Region’s team of breast care specialists will help to determine the best treatment plan based on type of breast cancer, size and location of the tumor, disease stage, lab test results, and a patient’s overall health.

Breast cancer treatments are local or systemic. A patient may have just one form of treatment or a combination. Local treatments include surgery and radiation, which are used to remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a specific area. Systemic treatments include chemotherapy and hormone therapy, which are used to destroy or control cancer cells throughout the body.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment using a combination of drugs administered orally or intravenously to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given after a lumpectomy or mastectomy to reduce the chance of cancer recurrence. It also may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor, making it easier to remove or so that a lumpectomy can be performed rather than a mastectomy. Side effects of treatment typically depend on the types and amounts of drugs used. Chemotherapy is administered at our leading-edge infusion suites which are designed to include the patients family in a healing environment. Infusion treatments are delivered by chemotherapy-certified registered nurses who will educate and support patients and their care partner and will be present throughout the entire procedure.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays, electrons, or radioisotopes to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be produced from a machine outside the body (external radiation) or by putting materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation). Radiation ionizes or damages the chromosomes in the cell so that they cannot multiply and grow any further. Radiation therapy is a local treatment — aimed directly at the affected areas of the breast. Successful radiation therapy depends on precise delivery of the proper amount of radiation to the cancerous cells while avoiding and protecting the surrounding, healthy tissues.

Our radiation oncology department has the latest innovative technologies to minimize the radiation dose to the nearby lung and heart tissue. Personalized, three-dimensional, conformal, treatment planning is used to precisely design the best radiation beam arrangement unique for each patient. Due to differences in each patient’s anatomy, specialized techniques such as “respiratory breath hold,” “prone breast treatment” or “intensity modulated radiation therapy” may be required to get the best and safest radiation plan for a specific patient. A unique technology we offer is virtual reality, visual feedback goggles which are used in certain cases when a “breath hold” technique is required to optimize a patient’s treatment plan.

  • Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D CRT)
    Three-dimensional, conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT) is the most common technique used in breast cancer patients. The conformal beams are designed using computerized treatment planning software. 3D CRT consists of two-to-five, conformal radiation beams carefully aimed at the tissues at risk with each treatment lasting for only a few minutes. When a patient receives 3D CRT, she will receive treatment five days a week for four-to-six weeks.
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
    If 3D CRT is not possible due to unacceptable levels of radiation dose to the heart or lungs, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) will be recommended. Radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and dosimetrists work together to develop a highly conformal IMRT plan which minimizes the dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. During the IMRT treatment, the patient is positioned on a robotic table and a daily CT scan for image-guidance (IGRT) is used to precisely align the radiation beams to the target zones.
  • Prone Position Breast Radiation
    Prone position breast radiation treats patients lying on their stomach instead of on their back. In select patients, treating a patient prone will further limit the amount of radiation exposure to the heart and lungs.
  • Respiratory Breath Hold Technique
    In selected cases, having the patient hold their breath during treatment is recommended. Our SDX® spirometry system along with specialized computer software allow for a reproducible target position which minimizes irradiation of the healthy tissues.
  • Virtual Reality, Visual Feedback Goggles
    Visual feedback goggles are used in conjunction with a respiratory “breath hold” technique in patients undergoing IMRT. The goggles display the patients breathing cycle allowing the patient to precisely hold their breath at the correct moment for the most accurate treatment.
  • Partial Breast Irradiation
    In select cases, localized radiation (brachytherapy) to the lumpectomy cavity is possible. A brachytherapy catheter or balloon is inserted into the lumpectomy cavity at the time of surgery or a few weeks later. Radiation treatment is accomplished by programming a radioactive seed to enter the catheters for a few minutes during each treatment. Treatments are typically scheduled twice per day for five days.
  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
    If you’re a woman getting a lumpectomy, there are a couple treatment options including IORT. IORT (Intraoperative radiation therapy) for breast cancer is, unlike external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), a procedure where radiation is delivered directly to the tumor instead of throughout the entire breast. The radiation is delivered in a single dose, has fewer side effects than EBRT and eliminates just the cancer, leaving the healthy tissues alone.

Medications

Endocrine (hormone blockers) therapy may be prescribed for women whose breast cancer is hormone-receptor positive, which means that estrogen can affect breast cancer cell growth. This type of treatment can either lower the amount of estrogen in the body or block estrogen from acting on breast cancer cells to slow the growth of cancer or help to shrink tumors. There are several different types of endocrine therapies, which your physician may prescribe, based upon the specific characteristics of the individual cancer and the side effects of the medication.

  • Tamoxifen
    Tamoxifen has been used for several decades to treat breast cancer. It is a pill taken daily for five years. Tamoxifen can be used in women of any age and has been found to reduce the chance of breast cancer recurrence and new breast cancers in women with ER-positive or ER- unknown breast tumors.
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
    Newer studies indicate that aromatase inhibitors are more effective than tamoxifen in treating breast cancer in women past menopause. Aromatase inhibitors prevent estrogen from being produced. While there are risks from hormone therapy, for most women with breast cancer the benefits outweigh the risks.

Surgical Treatment Options

The various surgical techniques differ in the amount of breast tissue that is removed with the tumor. Cleveland Clinic Florida’s team of physicians and surgeons includes surgeons with fellowship training specifically in breast surgery. A tumor board consisting of members from our multidisciplinary staff meets each week to review patient cases and discuss treatment options. Cleveland Clinic Florida offers the following treatment options for patients diagnosed with breast cancer:

  • Mastectomy
    • Lumpectomy/partial mastectomy involves removing the cancerous portion of the breast and surrounding tissue, while striving to preserve the normal appearance of the breast. Lymph nodes under the arm may also be removed.
    • Partial or segmental mastectomy is when the surgeon removes up to one quarter or more breast tissue than is removed in a lumpectomy.
    • Simple mastectomy is the removal of the breast, skin, and nipple.
    • Modified radical mastectomy is recommended when the tumor is large and/or has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes. It is a
      surgical procedure in which the entire breast is removed, including the skin, areola and nipple. Lymph nodes in the armpit area also are
      removed.
    • Nipple-areola sparing mastectomy is a technique in which the surgeon attempts to preserve the patient’s nipple and areola during
      removal of the breast tissue. This helps to avoid reconstructive surgery in the area, but it is only done if the cancerous area is 2 cm or
      more away from the tissue to be saved.
    • Skin sparing complete mastectomy involves removing cancerous breast tissue through a small incision around the areola while
      leaving most of the breast skin. The remaining “pocket” is filled with a breast implant or with tissue from another part of the patient’s
      body.
    • Prophylactic complete mastectomy is surgical removal of one or both breasts in an effort to prevent or reduce the risk of breast
      cancer. Those at high risk for breast cancer may be able to reduce their risk by 90% with this procedure.
  • Oncoplastic surgery is a procedure in which surgical reconstruction is combined with lumpectomy. A plastic surgeon removes the cancerous breast tissue while sculpting the remaining tissue to restore a natural appearance and shape.
  • Axillary lymph node dissection is the removal of all of the lymph nodes under the arm to determine whether the cancer has spread.
  • Post-Mastectomy Sensory Restoration is a breast neurotization technique that makes it possible to reconnect the nerves in the newly restored breast.

Breast Reconstruction

For those patients who desire breast reconstruction, our unique team approach and the professional collaboration between breast surgeons and plastic surgeons make it possible for our patients to have mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time or you may choose to have reconstruction months or even years after mastectomy. Once chemotherapy or radiation treatments have been started, the completion of reconstruction is usually postponed until treatment has ended. Cleveland Clinic Florida offers the most advanced form of breast reconstruction using what is called laser assisted angiography, a special imaging technology.

  • Your Own Tissue
    Using your own tissue to construct the new breast is a popular option. During these procedures, generally referred to as flap procedures, plastic surgeons take tissue from another part of the body to replace missing breast tissue and create a breast shape.
  • TRAM Flap
    Your surgeon may recommend a TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap. The TRAM flap involves moving the skin, fat, blood vessels and at least one of the “six pack” muscles from the abdomen to the chest. Using a tunneling procedure, the section of tissue is left attached to its original blood supply, tunneled underneath the skin and placed at the reconstruction site.
  • DIEP Flap
    The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap approach is similar to a TRAM flap, but only fat and skin from the abdomen are used, not muscle. DIEP is a free-flap procedure that involves disconnecting the tissue from its original blood supply and then reconnecting it to existing blood vessels in the chest area using microsurgical techniques. This procedure is particularly suitable for patients who have concerns about using abdominal muscles as part of the reconstruction.
  • Back Flap
    When the tummy flap is not an option, plastic surgeons can take tissue from the back, thigh or buttocks. The “back flap” moves skin, fat and muscle from the patient’s back to the mastectomy site. The tissue remains attached to its original site, which allows the surgeon to maintain the blood supply. The flap is tunneled beneath the skin to the chest, creating a pocket for an implant or creating the breast mound itself.
  • Breast Implants
    Some women prefer implants, which are soft sacs filled with silicone or saline (salt water) that are surgically inserted under chest muscle and skin, recreating the shape of the breast. Implants are available in a range of sizes and shapes.
  • Cancer Recurrence and Breast Reconstruction
    After breast reconstruction, it is important that you continue to have regular cancer screening examinations, as recommended by your doctor. Always tell your doctor or nurse about any changes in your breasts.
Our Doctors

Our Doctors

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

What Causes Breast Cancer?

A specific cause of breast cancer is not known; however, there are certain factors that may put a person at a higher risk of developing the disease. They include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Genetic factors
  • Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • Personal health history
  • Pregnancy history
  • Menstrual history
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Radiation exposure
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy

Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast cancer is the leading cancer for women of all ethnicities in the United States, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer. Due to the difference in breast structure between men and women, and the level of estrogen, more than 99% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women.

Caucasian women have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer; however African American women have a slightly higher risk of developing aggressive, advanced-stage breast cancer.

Breast cancer risk doubles for women who have a first-degree relative who has had breast cancer — about 20%-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family member who also has had breast cancer. However, up to 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history and it is believed that cancer occurs due to genetic abnormalities that result from the natural process of aging. About 5%-10% of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations a woman inherits from her mother or father. A woman who carries a gene mutation has an increased risk of up to (80%) of developing breast cancer during her life.

Women who are overweight or obese have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer or recurrence of breast cancer. In addition, not having children at all or not having a full-term pregnancy before age 30 is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.

Genetic Risks

Women with an inherited risk for breast cancer account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all women with the disease. Although all women have breast cancer genes, some carry mutations or have a non-working copy of a breast cancer gene. The following characteristics may suggest a higher risk for Breast Cancer:

  • Diagnosis of breast cancer before age 50
  • Several family members diagnosed with breast and/or ovarian cancer
  • Diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts)

Genetics is a fundamental tool in personalizing treatment of breast cancer. Using family-based risk assessment and, when appropriate, available gene testing can provide a basic understanding of the structure and function of genes at a molecular level and determine the best clinical management. At the Cleveland Clinic Florida Breast Center, our physicians offers the most up-to-date information on the genetic components of breast cancer and offer predictive testing for family members who may have inherited a specific genetic mutation.

BRCA Genetic Testing

At the genetic counseling visit, the genetic counselor will obtain a careful personal medical and detailed family medical history. He or she will determine whether or not genetic testing is appropriate and which genetic changes to assess. Two of the most well know examples are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, the most common genes associated with inherited breast cancer risk. Genetic testing involves a blood test. The test results are typically known in a few weeks.

Even in the absence of a known inherited condition in the family, having a close relative with breast cancer can increase a woman’s risk to develop the disease herself. In some instances, additional breast cancer risk management considerations may be warranted for such women. Tell your doctor about your family history of breast cancer and discuss whether that history might warrant changes to your care.

Male Breast Cancer

Although breast cancer in men is rare, men have a small amount of breast tissue and can develop the same types of breast cancers as women. Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases develop in men. On average 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US each year.

Risk factors for men are similar to those for women, but also include:
  • Klinefelter syndrome, a congenital condition affecting about 1 in 1,000 men 
  • Testicular conditions
  • Excessive use of alcohol 
  • Liver disease
  • Radiation exposure
  • Exposure to estrogen 

Breast cancer risk in men increases with age. It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70. Cancers related to gene mutations often occur in people younger than age 60. Symptoms of breast cancer in men are very similar to those in women. However, tumors are usually smaller but may be more advanced upon diagnosis because men have very little breast tissue; so the tumor doesn’t have far to grow before invading other tissues or the lymph nodes.

For both women and men with a strong family history of breast cancer, it is important to do monthly self exams and to have any changes examined immediately by your physician.

Treatments

Treatments

A range of treatment options is available to patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer: surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and clinical trials, to name a few. Cleveland Clinic’s team of breast care specialists will help to determine the best treatment plan based on type of breast cancer, size and location of the tumor, disease stage, lab test results, and a patient’s overall health.

Breast cancer treatments are local or systemic. A patient may have just one form of treatment or a combination. Local treatments include surgery and radiation, which are used to remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a specific area. Systemic treatments include chemotherapy and hormone therapy, which are used to destroy or control cancer cells throughout the body.

Surgical Treatment Options

The various surgical techniques differ in the amount of breast tissue that is removed with the tumor. Cleveland Clinic Florida’s team of physicians and surgeons includes surgeons with fellowship training specifically in breast surgery. A tumor board consisting of members from our multidisciplinary staff meets each week to review patient cases and discuss treatment options. Cleveland Clinic Florida offers the following treatment options for patients diagnosed with breast cancer:

  • Lumpectomy/partial mastectomy involves removing the cancerous portion of the breast and surrounding tissue, while striving to preserve the normal appearance of the breast. Lymph nodes under the arm may also be removed. 
  • Partial or segmental mastectomy is when the surgeon removes up to one quarter or more breast tissue than is removed in a lumpectomy.
  • Simple mastectomy is the removal of the breast, skin, and nipple. 
  • Modified radical mastectomy is recommended when the tumor is large and/or has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes. It is a surgical procedure in which the entire breast is removed, including the skin, areola and nipple. Lymph nodes in the armpit area also are removed.
  • Nipple-areola sparing mastectomy is a technique in which the surgeon attempts to preserve the patient’s nipple and areola during removal of the breast tissue. This helps to avoid reconstructive surgery in the area, but it is only done if the cancerous area is 2 cm or more away from the tissue to be saved.
  • Skin sparing complete mastectomy involves removing cancerous breast tissue through a small incision around the areola while leaving most of the breast skin. The remaining “pocket” is filled with a breast implant or with tissue from another part of the patient’s body.
  • Oncoplastic surgery is a procedure in which surgical reconstruction is combined with lumpectomy. A plastic surgeon removes the cancerous breast tissue while sculpting the remaining tissue to restore a natural appearance and shape.
  • Prophylactic complete mastectomy is surgical removal of one or both breasts in an effort to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer. Those at high risk for breast cancer may be able to reduce their risk by 90% with this procedure.
  • Axillary lymph node dissection is the removal of all of the lymph nodes under the arm to determine whether the cancer has spread.
  • Post-Mastectomy Sensory Restoration is a breast neurotization technique that makes it possible to reconnect the nerves in the newly restored breast.

Breast Reconstruction

For those patients who desire breast reconstruction, our unique team approach and the professional collaboration between breast surgeons and plastic surgeons make it possible for our patients to have mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time or you may choose to have reconstruction months or even years after mastectomy. Once chemotherapy or radiation treatments have been started, the completion of reconstruction is usually postponed until treatment has ended. Cleveland Clinic Florida offers the most advanced form of breast reconstruction using what is called laser assisted angiography, a special imaging technology.

Your Own Tissue
Using your own tissue to construct the new breast is a popular option. During these procedures, generally referred to as flap procedures, plastic surgeons take tissue from another part of the body to replace missing breast tissue and create a breast shape.

TRAM Flap
Your surgeon may recommend a TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap. The TRAM flap involves moving the skin, fat, blood vessels and at least one of the “six pack” muscles from the abdomen to the chest. Using a tunneling procedure, the section of tissue is left attached to its original blood supply, tunneled underneath the skin and placed at the reconstruction site.

DIEP Flap
The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap approach is similar to a TRAM flap, but only fat and skin from the abdomen are used, not muscle. DIEP is a free-flap procedure that involves disconnecting the tissue from its original blood supply and then reconnecting it to existing blood vessels in the chest area using microsurgical techniques. This procedure is particularly suitable for patients who have concerns about using abdominal muscles as part of the reconstruction.

Back Flap
When the tummy flap is not an option, plastic surgeons can take tissue from the back, thigh or buttocks. The “back flap” moves skin, fat and muscle from the patient’s back to the mastectomy site. The tissue remains attached to its original site, which allows the surgeon to maintain the blood supply. The flap is tunneled beneath the skin to the chest, creating a pocket for an implant or creating the breast mound itself.

Breast Implants
Some women prefer implants, which are soft sacs filled with silicone or saline (salt water) that are surgically inserted under chest muscle and skin, recreating the shape of the breast. Implants are available in a range of sizes and shapes.

Nipple Reconstruction and Tattooing
Reconstruction of the nipple and areola (the dark-colored area of skin around the nipple) is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia or controlled sedation. The nipple is made using a small flap of breast tissue at the site where the nipple should be located.

At a later date, the nipple and areola both can be colored by medical tattooing or skin grafting.

Cancer Recurrence and Breast Reconstruction
After breast reconstruction, it is important that you continue to have regular cancer screening examinations, as recommended by your doctor. Always tell your doctor or nurse about any changes in your breasts.

Chemotherapy and Leading Edge Infusion Suite

This leading-edge chemotherapy infusion suite is designed to include the family in a healing environment. The new suite has increased the number of patients we can treat from 12 to 37. Infusion treatments will be delivered by chemotherapy-certified registered nurses who will educate and support patients and their care partner and will be present throughout the entire procedure.

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment using a combination of drugs administered orally or intravenously to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given after a lumpectomy or mastectomy to reduce the chance of cancer recurrence. It also may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor, making it easier to remove or so that a lumpectomy can be performed rather than a mastectomy. Side effects of treatment typically depend on the types and amounts of drugs used.

Medications

Endocrine (hormone blockers) therapy may be prescribed for women whose breast cancer is hormone-receptor positive, which means that estrogen can affect breast cancer cell growth. This type of treatment can either lower the amount of estrogen in the body or block estrogen from acting on breast cancer cells to slow the growth of cancer or help to shrink tumors. There are several different types of endocrine therapies, which your physician may prescribe, based upon the specific characteristics of the individual cancer and the side effects of the medication.

Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen has been used for several decades to treat breast cancer. It is a pill taken daily for five years. Tamoxifen can be used in women of any age and has been found to reduce the chance of breast cancer recurrence and new breast cancers in women with ER-positive or ER-unkown breast tumors.

Aromatase Inhibitors
Newer studies indicate that aromatase inhibitors are more effective than tamoxifen in treating breast cancer in women past menopause. Aromatase inhibitors prevent estrogen from being produced. While there are risks from hormone therapy, for most women with breast cancer the benefits outweigh the risks.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays, electrons, or radioisotopes to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be produced from a machine outside the body (external radiation) or by putting materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation). Radiation ionizes or damages the chromosomes in the cell so that they cannot multiply and grow any further. Radiation therapy is a local treatment — aimed directly at the affected areas of the breast. Successful radiation therapy depends on precise delivery of the proper amount of radiation to the cancerous cells while avoiding and protecting the surrounding, healthy tissues.

Our radiation oncology department has the latest innovative technologies to minimize the radiation dose to the nearby lung and heart tissue. Personalized, three-dimensional, conformal, treatment planning is used to precisely design the best radiation beam arrangement unique for each patient. Due to differences in each patient’s anatomy, specialized techniques such as “respiratory breath hold,” “prone breast treatment” or “intensity modulated radiation therapy” may be required to get the best and safest radiation plan for a specific patient. A unique technology we offer is virtual reality, visual feedback goggles which are used in certain cases when a “breath hold” technique is required to optimize a patient’s treatment plan.

Types of Breast Radiation Therapy Techniques

Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3DCRT)
Three-dimensional, conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) is the most common technique used in breast cancer patients. The conformal beams are designed using computerized treatment planning software. 3DCRT consists of two-to-five, conformal radiation beams carefully aimed at the tissues at risk with each treatment lasting for only a few minutes. When a patient receives 3DCRT, she will receive treatment five days a week for four-to-six weeks.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
If 3DCRT is not possible due to unacceptable levels of radiation dose to the heart or lungs, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) will be recommended. Radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and dosimetrists work together to develop a highly conformal IMRT plan which minimizes the dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. During the IMRT treatment, the patient is positioned on a robotic table and a daily CT scan for image-guidance (IGRT) is used to precisely align the radiation beams to the target zones. 

Prone Position Breast Radiation
Prone position breast radiation treats patients lying on their stomach instead of on their back. In select patients, treating a patient prone will further limit the amount of radiation exposure to the heart and lungs. 

Respiratory Breath Hold Technique
 In selected cases, having the patient hold their breath during treatment is recommended. Our SDX® spirometry system along with specialized computer software allow for a reproducible target position which minimizes irradiation of the healthy tissues. 

Virtual Reality, Visual Feedback Goggles
Visual feedback goggles are used in conjunction with a respiratory “breath hold” technique in patients undergoing IMRT. The goggles display the patients breathing cycle allowing the patient to precisely hold their breath at the correct moment for the most accurate treatment. 

Partial Breast Irradiation
In select cases, localized radiation (brachytherapy) to the lumpectomy cavity is possible. A brachytherapy catheter or balloon is inserted into the lumpectomy cavity at the time of surgery or a few weeks later. Radiation treatment is accomplished by programming a radioactive seed to enter the catheters for a few minutes during each treatment. Treatments are typically scheduled twice per day for five days.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

Cleveland Clinic Florida can help you access hundreds of clinical trials across all specialty areas. Our new searchable online trials tool makes identifying treatment opportunities easier than ever.

Clinical Trials

Cancer clinical trials offer patients important treatment options and access to the latest treatments and procedures resulting from cancer research. Clinical trials can not only expand your treatment options but give hope to others. Cleveland Clinic Florida offers a wide range of clinical trials that have the potential to advance the cause of preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Some of the most important breast cancer trials focus on:

  • Triple-negative breast cancer
  • Central nervous system (CNS) metastases
  • HER-2 targeted therapies
  • Immunotherapy
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Hair loss prevention

Clinical trials (or research studies) help us create the medicine of tomorrow. They provide hope through offering testing of new drugs, new surgical techniques or other treatments before they are widely available.

Questions you should ask the doctor or study nurse about cancer clinical trials:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What has previous research of this treatment shown?
  • What is likely to happen in my case with, or without the treatment?
  • Are there standard treatments for my type of cancer?
  • How does this study compare with standard treatment options?
  • What phase is this cancer clinical trial?
  • What are the possible short and long-term risks, side effects and benefits of the treatment?
  • What kinds of treatments, medical tests, or procedures will I have during the study? And how do they compare with what I would receive outside of the study?
  • How long will the study last? Will there be a follow-up after the study?
  • Where will my treatment take place? Will I have to be in the hospital?
  • How will I know the treatment is working?
  • How could the study affect my daily life?
  • Will my records be kept confidential?
  • Will my insurance pay for the treatments?
  • If I decide to withdraw from the study, will my care be affected? Will I need to change doctors?

Research

Cleveland Clinic Florida's cancer team has made enormous progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. More women than ever before are winning the fight because of improvements in prevention and detection and the advances in treatment options and services available.

One of the most important advances is the ability to tailor treatment based on the risks and benefits for a specific patient, which could lead to better outcomes and fewer side effects.

Learn more about the Florida Research & Innovation Center

Resources

Resources

Patient Resource and Education Centers

Our Patient Resource and Education Center, located at each of our cancer centers, Maroone Cancer Center, Robert and Carol Weissman Cancer Center and Scully-Welsh Cancer Center, provide patients and their friends and families information and resources about cancer, including:

  • Pamphlets and informational brochures.
  • Computer terminals that can be used for conducting internet searches.
  • Wi-Fi access for laptops, smartphones and tablets.
  • Conference area where you can sit with a nurse and ask questions.
  • Listings and registrations for support groups and other patient programs.
  • Listings of resources such as wigs, transportation, and lodging.

Explore Our Breast Cancer Resources

Support Services

Support Services

Cleveland Clinic Florida Support Services

Breast Cancer Support Services at Maroone Cancer Center, Robert and Carol Weissman Cancer Center, and Scully-Welsh Cancer Center serve as vital resource centers for patients and offer an array of resources that can help patients cope with the demands of breast cancer. Patients are encouraged to take advantage of these resources to ease the burden of managing breast cancer and breast cancer treatment. Support services are available from South Florida to the Treasure Coast and include patient resource centers, therapies, classes, counseling, access to cancer support and resources to help those diagnosed. Support services vary by location, contact the location nearest you for the most up-to-date information:

Breast Health/Patient Navigator

For patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer, learning how to fight the disease can be an emotional, frightening experience with more questions than answers. That's where our patient navigators can help. Whether you have been recently diagnosed, are already living with breast cancer, or had a recurrence of the disease, our navigators help patients cope with the anxiety of being diagnosed with cancer, provide information and resources, reduce any barriers to services, and help expedite access to care.

Our free services include:

  • Connect you with the services needed within the Cleveland Clinic health system, community agencies and elsewhere if necessary.
  • Schedule and coordinate your appointments.
  • Assist with counseling needs and provide emotional support.
  • Provide you with resources to assist with financial hardship or other needs.

How to Get Help

You may call directly or ask your physician to refer you.

  • Maroone Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital
    Call 954.659.5604
  • Robert and Carol Weissman Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
    Call 772.223.5945, ext. 13774
  • Scully-Welsh Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital
    Call 772.226.4827
Appointments & Locations

Appointments & Locations

Breast Cancer Services

You may schedule an appointment online or call one of our cancer centers: Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital & Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital – 877.463.2010 Cleveland Clinic Martin Health – 844.630.4968.

Virtual Visits

You can now stay connected to your healthcare team through virtual visits, using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Why go virtual? It's an easy, convenient and secure way to see your provider face-to-face without having to leave home. This saves you travel time, parking fees and time spent in the waiting room — and you can also have a loved one or caregiver join you. If appropriate, you can also get a prescription sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

Many insurance companies cover the cost of virtual visits, so check with your insurance company ahead of time. Interested in getting started? Call your provider to find out what virtual visit options are available.

Schedule A Mammogram

Schedule A Mammogram

Cleveland Clinic Florida makes it easy and convenient to schedule your mammogram by providing many imaging centers throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. When it comes to your health, don’t delay and make your mammogram appointment today.

Mammography Locations