All women are at risk for developing breast cancer, which is why it’s important to undergo regular screening to find breast cancer early. If you suspect you have breast cancer or have risk factors that put you at high risk, getting diagnosed and receiving effective treatment as soon as possible will increase the chance that you will be cured and live a healthy, long life.
Choosing Duke means you’ll have access to a high level of experience and research in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. This level of expertise is found only in cancer centers like ours that is designated as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is important whether you are newly diagnosed or have advanced, metastatic breast cancer. You can visit our locations throughout the Triangle for breast cancer screening and tests, to receive effective treatment, and to participate in clinical trials that study new ways to treat breast cancer.
Understand Your Breast Cancer Risk
Regular mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. Mammogram screening is available throughout Durham and Wake counties. We offer same-day appointments, same-day results for diagnostic mammograms, and extended hours at several mammography locations. If you are Duke patient with a MyChart account, you can use MyChart to schedule your appointment online.
Breast Cancer Risk Assessment
Which breast cancer screenings you should have and when you should have them depend on your risk level. Learn how a breast cancer risk assessment can help you determine your risk and how our doctors use the results to recommend the best screening plan for you.
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. Your personal and family history will determine whether additional genetic testing should also be considered.
Types of Breast Cancer We Treat
Throughout our cancer centers, we care for women and men with:
- Noninvasive breast cancer, such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Invasive breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, hormone-sensitive breast cancer, and HER2-positive breast cancer
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Metaplastic carcinoma
- Metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
- Rare breast cancers such as breast sarcoma, phyllodes, and Paget's disease of the nipple
Choosing a cancer center near your home minimizes the impact your treatment has on your daily activities and your quality of life. Screening, diagnostic imaging, testing, and breast cancer treatments are available at Duke Health locations throughout the Triangle and beyond.
Ongoing Care During and After Treatment
Our breast cancer-specific programs provide treatment and resources for your unique situation and through all phases of your care. For example, we have programs dedicated to:
- Young adults
- Metastatic breast cancers including those that have spread to the brain and spine
- The impact of cancer treatment on heart health
- Fertility preservation for women in their childbearing years
- Sexual health concerns that may arise before, during, and after treatment
- Medical family therapy to help you manage your needs through your diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship
Our Support Services Follow You Through Your Journey
We offer the full range of services to help minimize the side effects of treatment and give you the support you need to cope with the emotional and psychological effects. Our financial coordinators help you identify ways to help you pay for your care. View all of our supportive care services.
After Your Treatment Ends
Once your cancer treatment ends, we continue to monitor your health through our survivorship clinic. Our survivorship providers work together with your oncology team and primary physician to optimize your health and monitor for any long-term effects that might result from your treatment. This clinic is open to people who received their cancer care at Duke, as well as people who have not. We help you maintain a personalized plan that includes ongoing screenings to ensure you live your best possible life as a cancer survivor.
Our active research efforts mean you may be eligible to participate in our breast cancer clinical trials, which provide access to new therapies and new ways to treat breast cancer before they are approved.
Why Choose Duke
We Are an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
At National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers like Duke Health, you’ll work with breast cancer specialists whose level of expertise can only be found at a few cancer centers in the country. Our breast cancer specialists have years of experience treating many different types of breast cancer, including rare forms.
Our Team Meets Weekly to Discuss Your Care
Our breast cancer teams meet weekly to discuss and review our patients’ care. These weekly group meetings are called “tumor boards” and are dedicated to different types of cancer and related issues. For example, we hold tumor boards for metastatic and non-metastatic breast cancer, including rare forms of breast cancer. A range of issues is discussed to ensure we make the most appropriate treatment recommendations.
We Provide Second Opinions
If your home is not close to one of our cancer centers, we can provide a second opinion to review your cancer diagnosis and treatment options. If you are unable to have your day-to-day care at Duke, our doctors may be able to provide recommendations to your local doctors.
Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cancer program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2020–2021.