Breast cancer care at Mayo

At Mayo Clinic, breast cancer specialists provide personalized, whole-person care to those with breast cancer. Treatment options may include surgical removal of tumors, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery.

Treatment team

At Mayo Clinic, breast surgeons and plastic surgeons work together to provide the best care for each person with breast cancer.

The multidisciplinary team may include:

If surgery is the most appropriate treatment option, breast surgeons remove the cancer and specialists in pathology and radiology evaluate the tissue immediately. They report results directly to the surgeon. On-site communication and contact allow the surgeon to verify the tumor's edges (margins) and other details with the pathologist while the surgery is still underway.

Surgery

Mayo Clinic offers a full range of the latest surgical techniques and procedures to treat breast cancer.

At Mayo Clinic, surgeons provide individualized information, work with you to determine the appropriate treatment and provide timely surgical care.

Surgical options for breast cancer treatment include:

Some people may be evaluated for prophylactic mastectomy — a procedure that reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.

Mayo Clinic surgeons perform many breast cancer operations every year. Research shows that people who are treated for breast cancer at medical centers that treat many cases of breast cancer have better outcomes than do people treated at medical centers that treat breast cancer less frequently.

Mayo Clinic's state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment also help ensure the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment for people with breast cancer. Learn more about cancer research at Mayo Clinic, including clinical trials for new surgical approaches to breast cancer treatment.

Frozen section analysis

Mayo Clinic doctors may use frozen section evaluation of tissue during breast cancer surgery to determine whether all of the cancer has been removed.

Mayo Clinic's unique frozen section pathology laboratory provides rapid, accurate microscopic analysis of tissue during surgery. Mayo Clinic surgeons know if they have removed all of the cancer (achieved negative margins) while you're still in the operating room.

Frozen section analysis may prevent the need for additional surgery.

Localization

Localization may be used to pinpoint the location of a breast tumor that appears on a mammogram but can't be felt. In localization, a radiologist uses mammography, ultrasound or MRI to insert a fine wire into the tumor site. During surgery, the surgeon follows the wire to locate and remove the targeted area.

As an alternative, a metal capsule that's about the size of a grain of rice and contains a small amount of radioactive material may be placed at the tumor site. The capsule may be placed a day or more before the operation. The surgeon locates the capsule with a hand-held radioactivity detection device and removes the targeted area.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

  1. Double Cancer Diagnosis Leads Arizona Couple to Mayo Clinic for Care

    When Vincent and Sandra Streech were diagnosed with cancer, the husband and wife turned to Mayo Clinic. The pair each received treatment through clinical trials, and today the future looks more promising for both of them. When Vincent Streech was diagnosed with lung cancer, he knew he would be in for the fight of his [...]

  2. Gaining Fresh Perspective Via Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

    Diagnosed with breast cancer at 27, Sara Martinek persevered through treatment with the support of her family, friends and care team, and she came out on the other side with a new appreciation for what matters in life. Written by Sara Martinek Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. Like most people, [...]

  3. Emerging From Mastectomy With a Healthy Body Image Intact

    When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Margaret Pelikan had two goals: to get rid of the disease and to feel normal afterward. Her team at Mayo Clinic helped her accomplish both. For eight years, Margaret Pelikan dreaded mammograms. In 2008, she had been diagnosed with a condition called lobular carcinoma in situ in her [...]

  4. Effective Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer Calls for Customized Care

    Thirty-five-year old mother of three is amazed to find her cancer in remission thanks to her Mayo Clinic team's knowledge and individualized care. Amy Conlon arrived at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in August 2016 without much hope. The 35-year-old breast cancer patient and mother of three envisioned a grim future for herself. She imagined that [...]

  5. Overwhelmed, Breast Cancer Patient Finds Answer in Mayo's Centralized Care and Treatment

    Renee Hill had received opinions from other health care facilities but desperately wanted to have her medical care centralized and coordinated. "My gut was telling me Mayo was where I needed to go," she says.? When Renee Hill was diagnosed with breast cancer ? stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma ? on her birthday in July [...]

  6. College Professor Beats Breast Cancer With Her Hometown Team

    Throughout surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer, Polly Browne knew she could rely on the expertise of her multidisciplinary health care team at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Polly Browne didn't have any obvious symptoms. But the North Mankato, Minnesota, resident and elementary education college professor, knew something wasn't quite right with [...]

  7. After Loss, Cancer Survivor Finds Strength in Community and Giving Back

    Editor?s Note: Carol Phillips is an IT analyst/programmer at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. . She shares her experience and why she travels to Florida to support the annual 26.2 with DONNA Marathon . My breast cancer journey started on April Fool?s Day?? April ?1, 2011. Only it wasn?t a joke. My routine yearly mammogram came [...]

  8. Relieving Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment With Microsurgery

    In May 2013, at age 47, Angenette Monroe was diagnosed with invasive cancer in her left breast. After six months of chemotherapy, she had a mastectomy as part of her treatment plan. The former gastroenterology technologist had participated in many medical procedures and was well aware of the challenges people can face after surgery. But [...]

  9. Professional Outdoorsman Lives Life to the Fullest After Liver Transplant

    Being diagnosed with bile duct cancer that eventually necessitated a liver transplant wasn't enough to keep Steve Woodford down for long. A South African native living in Utah, Steve is professional skydiving instructor, backpacker and canyon guide in Zion National Park. He has always lived on the edge with his active outdoors lifestyle. Getting sick [...]

  10. Breaking Away From Pain With the Help of 'The Scrambler'

    Participating in a clinical trial gave Karen Safranek a solution to her decade-long struggle with peripheral neuropathy? Karen Safranek didn't take a worry-free step for 10 years. Severe peripheral neuropathy ? a side effect of breast cancer treatment she received in 2002 ? left her with constant burning, tingling, numbness and pain in both her [...]

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Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists have the experience and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.

Experience you can trust

Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Each year, Mayo Clinic specialists care for about 9,000 people with invasive breast cancer.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clinic offers advanced breast cancer screening and diagnostic services, including digital mammography, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), molecular breast imaging, ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsies, image-guided breast biopsies and surgical biopsies. Mayo Clinic's breast specialists understand the anxiety associated with a breast concern or condition and work to give you a prompt, accurate diagnosis.

Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to women with breast cancer includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and many types of surgical procedures, such as sentinel lymph node biopsy, lumpectomy, mastectomy and a variety of reconstruction options. Many clinical trials are done at Mayo Clinic using the latest research to develop and test new treatments for breast cancer.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Aug. 16, 2016