Breast Cancer Treatment in Tampa Bay

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Florida and across the country. It’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.

A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 8. The good news is that breast cancer survival rates are increasing due to earlier detection and availability of new breast cancer treatment options.

According to the CDC, the two most common kinds of breast cancer are:

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma. The cancer cells begin in the ducts and then grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma. Cancer cells begin in the lobules and then spread from the lobules to the breast tissues that are close by. These invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.

In Florida, breast cancer treatment centers like Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offer the services of expert breast cancer surgeons and the latest breast cancer treatments to conserve breast tissue and prevent recurrence. Our cancer center of Tampa was the first Tampa, FL facility to offer MammoSite and Contura Brachytherapy.

Debbie Modlin’s Breast Cancer Story

In late October of 2018, Debbie Modlin was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer—one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat forms of breast cancer. She was understandably terrified at the time of diagnosis, and unsure of what to expect when she first met with Dr. Steel to discuss a plan for her treatment. “Dr. Steel and the staff immediately made me feel important and part of the family. They took my fear away,” Debbie says of that first meeting.

Debbie completed 16 weeks of chemo and finished her radiation treatments just before Thanksgiving. In the meantime, she’d started journaling to calm her mind and capture the maelstrom of feelings she experienced during treatment. “I read that journal now and see how far I came during that time—and how much further still I’ve come today.”

Debbie’s faith and her journaling helped her join in on the fun still to be found in life—including dressing up right along with TBRO’s staff in Halloween costumes! “I was a biker chick,” she laughs. Now cancer-free, Debbie credits her excellent TBRO team for their care of her physical self and journaling and other self-regulation techniques for preserving her mental and emotional health.

The team at TBRO were very helpful. I did have a trip planned and they worked to get the radiation done in time for me to go. The people at TBRO are really wonderful.

B.H.2022 Breast Cancer Patient

What surprised me about my journey with cancer was that though it was long, it was less emotional and physical than expected. I can't say enough thanks and appreciation to Dr. Kahn, also to Kelsey and Katrina for their wonderful care and friendship. What I'd say to others going through cancer is to have faith, God only gives us what we can handle. Listen to your body. Thank you all for this extra buffer and peace of mind!

S. J.Breast Cancer Patient, 2022

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Everyone woman is different, and some don’t experience any symptoms of breast cancer at all, so the best way to determine whether you have or are at risk for developing breast cancer is to get regular checkups, mammograms, and screenings from your doctor. There are some common warning signs of breast cancer, however, and you should get checked if you experience any of the following, but keep in mind that other conditions can present these symptoms:

  • A lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

Breast Cancer Detection and Risk Factors

Breast cancer usually first presents as a lump or spot within the breast that is detected during a screening, mammogram, or breast exam. The American Cancer Society has updated their recommendations for breast cancer screening, and you should follow these recommendations along with those of your doctor, particularly if you have a family history of breast cancer or are at higher risk for developing breast cancer because of a number of factors, which can include the following:

  • An inherited mutation in the BRCA1or BRCA2 gene
  • Having a family history of breast cancer
  • More than one drink of alcohol per day
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not being active
  • Not having children
  • Not breast feeding
  • Taking birth control
  • Taking hormone therapy for menopause
  • Having breast implants
  • Race/ethnicity – white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women
  • Starting menopause later

Breast Cancer Treatment in Tampa, FL

Many procedures are available to treat cancer, and more are being developed and studied all the time. Surgery and radiation therapy are typically used when breast cancer is detected early, but more advanced cases may involve a combination of several of the following:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Hormone Therapy

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for breast cancer and may be used alone or with other forms of treatment. If your treatment plan includes radiation therapy, knowing what to expect can often help you prepare for treatment and help you make informed decisions about your care. In Florida, breast cancer treatment centers like Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offer the services of expert breast cancer surgeons and the latest breast cancer treatments to conserve breast tissue and prevent recurrence. Our cancer center in Tampa, for instance, was the first Tampa, FL facility to offer MammoSite and Contura Brachytherapy. We offer these as well as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, CyberKnife radiosurgery, Image-Guided Radiation Therapy and other options for treatment of breast cancer.

Patients who visit our breast cancer treatment centers in Tampa and Brandon, Florida meet with one of our breast cancer surgeons for a complete evaluation and treatment recommendations. They will take the time to explain all your options and work with you and your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs.

Contact Us Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about breast cancer, our breast cancer surgeons and breast cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL.