Advanced treatments, therapies and support services for breast cancer

An estimated one in every eight women will have a breast cancer diagnosis. While the disease primarily affects women, there is a one in 1000 chance that a man will be diagnosed with breast cancer in his lifetime. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, we understand that you may feel overwhelmed. But you can take comfort in knowing that advances in treatment options along with early detection means that many people survive breast cancer.

The Main Line Health Breast Cancer Program attracts women and men from throughout the Philadelphia region who are seeking advanced treatment and therapies for breast cancer while benefiting from coordinated, compassionate care provided from time of screening throughout survivorship.

When you choose Main Line Health for breast cancer treatment, you benefit from the expertise of a multidisciplinary team that includes breast surgeons who are skilled in less-invasive surgery along with specialists in radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. For our patients who develop symptoms of lymphedema as a result of cancer treatment, our Lymphedema Management Program can help manage those symptoms and minimize your associated risks. Our plastic surgeons have expertise in breast reconstruction and the latest breast-sparing and -conserving surgical approaches. You’ll have access to breast cancer clinical trials as well as support services, such as psychological counseling, physical therapy, and personalized care management by nurse navigators. Your breast cancer treatment plan will be customized to meet your unique needs and lifestyle.

Through our Survivorship Program you’ll be able to connect with other breast cancer survivors while also benefiting from integrative medicine, a complementary approach to treatment that may include nutrition, physical activity, and mind-body practices. The program also provides support for financial concerns and other issues outside the scope of medical care.

Our goal is to establish a lifelong relationship with you as we strive to produce the best possible outcome for your breast cancer in a supportive and caring environment.

With Main Line Health you’ll have access to comprehensive breast cancer centers across all of our campuses, including:

  • Barbara Brodsky Comprehensive Breast Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital
  • Holloway Breast Health Center at Paoli Hospital
  • Lankenau Medical Center's Comprehensive Breast Center in Wynnewood
  • Comprehensive Breast Center at Riddle Hospital in Media

At each of our centers we offer a complete range of health services complemented by education and research activities to meet your individual needs. Our centers expand upon that mission, providing the most up-to-date technology as well as access to nationally recognized experts in breast care. Some breast cancer services are available at additional locations throughout the Philadelphia region, offering the same high-level breast cancer care we offer at our four main hospitals.

The importance of regular breast cancer screening

By finding breast cancer in its earliest stages, even before there may be any symptoms, screening exams can save thousands of lives each year. Early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer through regular mammograms and other advanced scans, such as breast MRI and breast ultrasound, may improve outcomes for breast cancer treatments. Talk with your physician about your family history, lifestyle and other risk factors, and when you should schedule your screenings for breast cancer.

Our breast imaging options accommodate your risk factors for breast cancer, including dense breasts. We offer 3D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis), a type of mammogram that creates three-dimensional views of the breast tissue. The multiple images help improve early breast cancer detection through greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of abnormalities. 3D mammography is recommended for women between the ages of 40 and 50 and/or women who have dense breasts.

We also offer high-resolution breast ultrasound, breast MRI, stereotactic core biopsy, ultrasound and MRI biopsy, as well as bone density testing (DEXA scanning). Our breast imaging centers are staffed by board-certified radiologists, nurse navigators, genetic counselors and breast surgeons.

Learn more about 3D mammograms and mammography

Main Line Health recommends all women begin annual screening with mammography at age 40. Higher risk women (e.g., those with genetic abnormalities, strong family history and /or personal risk factors) should discuss with their physician whether additional screening studies or starting screening earlier would be beneficial. Annual screening should continue into later years as long as a woman is in good health.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer

A diagnosis of breast cancer often raises immediate fears and concerns about what’s next and what the future holds. We understand, and we have an entire team of experts from breast surgeons, medical oncologists, and geneticists, to breast radiologists, pathologists, breast nurse navigators, and integrative therapists—all here to make the experience less daunting, from the time of your breast cancer screening through your survivorship. We are ready, with leading-edge treatments as well as educational, emotional and practical support to help guide you and your family on the journey ahead—and to empower you to become an active partner in your treatment and recovery.

Your own personal nurse navigator

There are many decision points along your breast cancer journey, and your own personal Main Line Health oncology nurse navigator has the breast cancer-specific, clinical knowledge to help guide you along the way. Your nurse navigator is your continuous point of contact throughout your entire cancer care journey, serving as your personal assistant, educator and advocate, by:

  • Meeting with you at the time of a biopsy recommendation, and on the day of your biopsy procedure
  • Helping you understand your diagnosis
  • Attending meetings with your multidisciplinary breast cancer care team to discuss your uniquely personal care management
  • Helping with appointments and coordination of care among your specialists
  • Educating and supporting you in making informed decisions about your medical care, recovery and rehabilitation
  • Connecting you with support resources at Main Line Health such as social workers and financial counselors, providers of complimentary therapies to reduce stress and support your wellbeing, and sources of information about survivorship programs and cancer support groups from the newly diagnosed to living with and beyond breast cancer

Breast-conserving treatment options

The Main Line Heath Breast Cancer Program offers the most advanced surgical options ranging from breast-conserving lumpectomy, which is the removal of the breast tumor or “lump” and some of the normal tissue that surrounds it, to simple and modified radical mastectomies that are skin- and nipple-sparing. Our surgical expertise includes highly specialized, muscle-sparing procedures such as deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP), known as DIEP flap, which allows us to use abdominal blood vessels and surrounding fat tissue to rebuild the breast without damaging your abdominal muscles. We also offer nonsurgical breast biopsies and access to an experienced plastic surgeon to discuss breast reconstruction options after lumpectomy and mastectomy.

Participation in breast cancer clinical trials

Through our designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), Main Line Health is one of only a few community hospitals that offer breast cancer patients participation in the latest national studies and trials. The breast cancer clinical trials offered through Main Line Health only use carefully tested drugs and surgical approaches, as well as other interventions that offer you hope for the best possible outcome in your cancer treatment.

Learn how our oncology nurse navigators can help you

Survivorship: Planning for living

Once you have completed breast cancer treatment, we begin the journey to health and survivorship with you. Through our Survivorship Program, patients often report having less stress and a greater sense of control over their health and well-being. The program also puts you in close contact with our health care providers so that you have access to expert care and guidance at any stage of your life, and you can benefit from ongoing education, recommendations, and preventive care strategies.

To schedule an appointment with a breast cancer specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.