Cape Cod Healthcare has exceptional resources for diagnosing and treating breast cancer, beginning with our comprehensive breast health services. When it comes to cancer treatment, our compassionate team walks with you every step of the way. Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital are each accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Early breast cancer usually does not cause physical pain, and symptoms may not initially be noticeable. As the cancer grows, it can cause changes that include:
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
- A change in the shape or size of the breast
- Nipple discharge or tenderness
- Inverted nipple
- Ridges or pitting of the breast (resembling the skin of an orange)
- A change in the way the skin of the breast, nipple or areola (dark area surrounding the nipple), looks or feels (for example, warm, swollen, red or scaly)
- A sore or ulcer on the breast that does not heal
If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
How Breast Cancer is Diagnosed
Your doctor will examine your breasts for symptoms of cancer. Tests used to detect cancer include:
- Mammogram – An X-ray of the breast that can find tumors that are too small to feel
- MRI – A scan that can detect tumors with greater accuracy in certain types of breast tissue or if cancer is suspected
- Ultrasound – Uses sound waves to evaluate lumps identified through breast exam or mammography
- Fine needle aspiration – A thin needle is used to remove fluid or cells from a breast lump for further testing
- Surgical biopsy – Removes all or part of a breast lump for lab examination
How Breast Cancer is Treated
Our Regional Cancer Network provides you with the latest treatment advancements in the hands of skilled cancer specialists. Depending on the location, size and stage of the cancer, you may benefit from:
Your doctor will collaborate with specialists from a variety of disciplines, including experts from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to develop a treatment plan personalized for you.
As you navigate cancer, you’re not alone. Cape Cod Healthcare offers a full range of support and survivorship services, including the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better and Reach to Recovery programs.
Find in-depth information about breast cancer in our online Health Library.