Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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A breast cancer diagnosis is the start of a long journey that requires a lot of important decisions.

  • Who will be in charge of your breast cancer care?
  • What is the best breast cancer hospital?
  • How will you know which breast cancer treatment is right for you?

Your Duke breast cancer doctors are your partners. We help you understand your options for breast cancer screening and treatment, so you can make important decisions about your care.

Duke Breast Cancer Centers

Duke breast cancer centers are located in Durham, Raleigh, Cary, and throughout the Triangle.

Duke Breast Cancer Doctors

Meet our breast cancer specialists, view their profiles, and select the one that’s right for you.
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Understand Your Breast Cancer Risk

Mammography
Regular mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. We offer mammogram screening in Durham, Raleigh, and Cary. Same-day appointments and extended hours are often available. You’ll get same-day test results during our Saturday screening clinics.

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment
Which breast cancer screenings you should have and when you should have them depends on your risk level. Learn how a breast cancer risk assessment can help you determine your risk and your screening plan.

Genetic Screening and Counseling
If you are at risk for inherited breast cancer, our genetic counselors may recommend screening for BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations -- the most common causes of hereditary breast cancer -- and will help you interpret your results. With these facts, they can discuss options for keeping you and your family healthy.

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Call for an Appointment

Your Breast Cancer Care Is Our Top Priority

When breast cancer is suspected, your first appointment will be with a medical oncologist or surgical oncologist who will bring together a team of breast cancer specialists to take part in your care. Your breast cancer team may include:

Surgical Oncologists 
Most breast cancer treatment starts with some type of surgical procedure. Your breast cancer surgeon will evaluate the type and stage of your breast cancer, and recommend the procedure that's right for you.

Medical Oncologists
Chemotherapy, immunotherapies, and targeted treatments are overseen by a medical oncologist if they are part of your breast cancer care. 

Radiation Oncologists
Targeted and shortened courses of radiation therapy may be used to shrink tumors before or after surgery. Duke radiation oncologists also teach techniques like breath holding and prone breast positioning to minimize radiation exposure to your normal, healthy tissues, including your heart. 

Plastic Surgeons
If you desire and are eligible for breast reconstruction, a plastic surgeon will help you understand your options and recommend the most appropriate procedure. 

Appointments with your breast cancer team are conveniently scheduled at the Duke cancer center you visit. We do our best to reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety and ensure that you have the information you need to make decisions about your care.

If you seek care at Duke and continue with radiation or chemotherapy closer to home, our doctors will coordinate your treatment plan with your doctors. We also provide second opinions and share information with doctors near you. 

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Choosing a Breast Cancer Center

Larger hospitals have more breast cancer specialists who have more experience treating different types of breast cancer, including rare forms of breast cancer. Breast cancer centers that are part of larger hospitals can also offer more services to women and men with breast cancer. Consider these factors when deciding where to receive your breast cancer care.

Comprehensive, High-Quality Breast Cancer Care
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we offer a level of expertise found only in the top cancer centers across the country. The skills and experience of our breast cancer specialists come from working with people with breast cancer every day.

Convenient, Comfortable Locations Near You
Choosing a breast cancer center near to your home minimizes the impact your treatment has on your daily activities and your quality of life. Duke cancer centers are located throughout Cary, Raleigh, Durham, and beyond. Imaging, testing, and breast cancer treatments are available at our centers.

Clinical Trials Access
You may be eligible to participate in our breast cancer clinical trials, which can provide access to new therapies before they are approved. Duke doctors are investigating new ways to approach breast tumors, how exercise impacts treatment and survival, and how to improve the quality of our patients’ lives. They are also using new vaccines to treat different types of breast cancer, including early-stage breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer.

Highly Specialized Breast Cancer Clinics
We offer clinics devoted to specific types of breast cancer, different age groups, and unique health care needs, including sexual health and fertility issues for women in their childbearing years.

When Breast Cancer Spreads to Brain or Spine
New treatments are making it possible for people to live longer, with a better quality of life, when cancer has spread to the brain or spine. Duke experts in the medical and surgical management of metastatic brain and spine tumors use these advanced therapies to extend life for people who may have been told they are out of options.

Comprehensive Support Services
Our cancer support services help minimize the side effects of treatment and help you cope with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. Our breast cancer survivorship clinic offers resources to help survivors after treatment ends. View all of our breast cancer support groups in our event calendar.

Nationally Recognized Doctors
Our breast cancer specialists are included in Time magazine's annual lists of the most influential people because of their contributions to new breast cancer treatment approaches. Duke breast cancer specialists were involved in the research and development that led to the recent FDA approval of two breast cancer drugs.

  • Ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) has been referred to as a "smart bomb" because it targets the tumor, lacks significant side effects, and offers patients a better quality of life.
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb), also developed by Duke doctors and researchers, treats HER2-positive breast cancer by targeting and blocking the signals that breast tumors need to grow. It’s an added option for women whose breast cancer has stopped responding to other treatments.

Among the Best Cancer Hospitals in U.S.

Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital's cancer program is ranked among the nation's best.