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CIBC Breast Centre

Breast cancer care

Our team members are experts at breast cancer care, and have developed a special team approach to create a care plan that meets the needs of each of our patients and their support persons.

Care may include one or more types of treatments, provided by highly trained medical professionals and others health care professionals.

Breast surgery

The breast surgical oncology team provides consultation and a variety of treatment options for pre-cancer and cancer diagnoses. Most women with breast cancer will commonly have some type of surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible.

Surgery may also be followed by other treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation therapy. Surgery may also be performed to:

  • Find out whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary node dissection).
  • Restore a more normal appearance (reconstructive surgery).
  • Relieve symptoms of advanced cancer.

Your surgeon will meet with you to discuss the most suitable treatment option for you and your condition.

Learn more about the most common types of breast cancer surgery:

Multidisciplinary Clinic

All patients who have a new breast cancer diagnosis are referred by their surgeon to our Friday morning Multidisciplinary Clinic. The medical and radiation oncologists will meet at the same time with a patient to complete a full evaluation, discuss treatment recommendations and answer any questions patients and families have. A patient navigator will be available for additional support and to arrange resources that can help during treatment.

This team will discuss a personal treatment plan that may include chemotherapy, radiation and/or hormonal therapy.

 If radiation therapy is needed, a consultation will happen at St. Michael’s and we will arrange this at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre or a centre closest to each patient’s homes.

Breast reconstruction

What is breast reconstruction

Women who have surgery to treat their breast cancer may choose breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the shape and look of the breast.  Breast reconstruction can occur at the time of the mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) or lumpectomy (removal of part of the breast) or at any point after that, known as delayed reconstruction.  Breast reconstruction is performed by a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and is a service available at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Breast reconstruction helps restore the appearance of the breast.  It is a type of surgery for women who have had all or part of a breast removed. This surgery creates a breast mound.  Depending on the defect created by the cancer surgery, patients often have procedures on the opposite breast for symmetry and balance once they are happy with the reconstructed breast.  Breast reconstruction generally takes several operations. The nipple and the darker area around the nipple (areola) can also be added at a later time once the patient is happy with the reconstruction of the breast mound.

All women who have had a mastectomy are able to have breast reconstruction. Women who have had a lumpectomy may or may not need reconstruction.  The need for reconstruction often depends on the size of the tumour removed and the size of the breast.

If you are considering breast reconstruction as an option in your care, please talk to your surgeon or patient navigation specialist.

Questions that you might like to ask the plastic surgeon include:

  • Can I have breast reconstruction?
  • When can I have reconstruction performed?
  • What are the pros and cons of doing it at the same time as my cancer surgery (immediate reconstruction) versus waiting (delayed reconstruction)?
  • Will reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy?
  • Will reconstruction interfere with radiation therapy?
  • What types of reconstruction could I have?
  • What are the pros and cons with each option?
  • What type of reconstruction do you think would be best for me? Why?

You can learn more about breast reconstruction surgery on these external websites: