Breast Cancer

Every woman is at risk of developing breast cancer. About one in eight will develop the disease sometime during her lifetime. Although rare, men also can develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer. More than 210,000 women and 1,500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the United States. Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells multiply and form a cancer that is located in tissues of the breast. Usually breast cancer occurs in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple or in the lobules – the small sacs that produce milk.

At Virginia Mason, women and men with breast cancer benefit from the combined expertise of breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other specialized providers and staff to provide seamless care throughout their medical treatment.

Virginia Mason routinely performs the following breast cancer operations:

  • Sentinel node biopsy
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy
  • Partial mastectomy/lumpectomy
  • Simple (total) mastectomy
  • Modified radical mastectomy (total mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection)