Mayo Clinic's approach

A doctor examining a patient

Mayo Clinic doctors offer expert care for people with breast cancer.

Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for people with breast cancer during and after treatment. The range of supportive care and survivorship services aims to ensure that all of your needs are met, so you can focus on healing and wellness.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

During and after your breast cancer treatment, you'll be cared for by a team of experts who work together to personalized your therapy and address your concerns, providing hope and trust through your cancer journey. Services are usually coordinated by a breast cancer specialist in the Breast Clinic who meets with you to understand your concerns and schedules appointments with specialists.

Your care team might include:

If you have other health concerns that might be affected by breast cancer treatment, your breast cancer specialist can coordinate those appointments as well. Mayo Clinic offers world-class experts in all specialties in one place to allow multiple appointments to be coordinated over a matter of days.

A doctor talking with a patient before radiation therapy

Breast cancer specialists work to reduce side effects and make you comfortable during treatment.

Supportive therapy to help you feel better

Your breast cancer specialist will do an assessment of your needs shortly after your diagnosis to discuss your goals and make arrangements for you to meet with various specialists to address your concerns.

Supportive therapy for breast cancer is focused on keeping you comfortable during treatment so that you can continue your usual daily activities as much as possible.

Supportive therapy services might include help with:

  • Arm swelling (lymphedema) that can occur after surgery or radiation. Specialists in the lymphedema clinic offer treatments that can improve your arm function and reduce your discomfort.
  • Pain management for pain caused by chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and surgery- or radiation-related breast or chest wall pain.
  • Regaining function and stamina if treatment has caused shoulder pain or stiffness, weakness, fatigue, or difficulty returning to the activities that you enjoy. Cancer rehabilitation specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation can work with you on your specific needs and tailor treatment to your abilities.
  • Controlling symptoms through integrative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and others offered by specialists in integrative medicine.
  • Wellness coaching and classes, including those offered by the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program.
  • Planning for and coping with loss of fertility with our reproductive endocrinology specialists who can help you understand how treatment may affect your ability to have children in the future and discuss options for preserving fertility.
  • Managing menopause symptoms with help from specialists in the Women's Health Clinic.
  • Managing sexual dysfunction with help from sexual health specialists.
  • Sorting out your feelings, managing stress and devising coping strategies with counseling and other options in psychiatry and psychology services. Offerings include a specialized program that combines strategies to develop coping skills with support from other people with cancer in order to reduce cancer-related stress.
  • Coping with everyday concerns such as financial questions, transportation logistics and caregiver services with help from our social workers.
  • Thinking and memory changes that can occur after cancer treatment, including chemo brain, in the neurocognitive clinic.
  • Nutritional counseling from dietitians who can offer support and tips if you experience difficulty eating or if you need help losing weight.
  • Stopping smoking through counseling and medications from compassionate experts in the Nicotine Dependence Center who can help you devise and implement a plan to quit.
  • Heart concerns from doctors in the Cardio-Oncology Clinic who evaluate and treat people who have heart disease or who are at risk of heart disease before, during and after treatment for cancer.
  • Sleep problems if you experience difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, with help from specialists in the sleep clinic.
  • Educational services and classes through the Cancer Education Program, which offers reliable reference materials and classes taught by experts. Offerings include classes that teach relaxation, meditation, creative activities and coping strategies.
  • Making healthy lifestyle choices through healthy diet, physical activity and stress management to improve your health during and after treatment. Breast cancer specialists can connect you with services such as Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program and the free LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program for cancer survivors.
  • Finding support from other breast cancer survivors, with Pink Ribbon Mentors and Join the Journey available to connect you with a breast cancer mentor who can help answer your questions about treatments and recovery. Other options include community support groups and online groups such as Mayo Clinic Connect.
Specialists discussing care with a patient

Specialists who focus on care for breast cancer survivors create individualized follow-up plans.

Personalized care for breast cancer survivors

At Mayo Clinic, breast cancer survivors meet with an expert who specializes in cancer survivorship at the end of cancer treatment. Cancer survivorship clinics provide comprehensive care that helps you live well after cancer treatment.

You can expect the expert to:

  • Review lingering symptoms and concerns that remain after treatment. You'll be connected to other experts and programs that can address your concerns.
  • Provide a treatment summary for your records that explains your diagnosis and treatments.
  • Create a customized follow-up care plan that includes a schedule of exams and tests that are recommended for you based on your diagnosis and treatment.
  • Explain the signs and symptoms of cancer recurrence and when you should make an appointment to investigate any new signs or symptoms.
  • Make wellness recommendations to help you recover from breast cancer treatment and reduce your risk of cancer recurrence. If you need help losing weight or starting an exercise program, you'll receive referrals to get you started safely.

Experience you can trust

Related Video

Watch Mayo Clinic specialists discuss breast cancer on YouTube.

Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists have extensive experience providing supportive therapy and survivorship services. More than 9,500 people seek breast cancer care each 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.

When you seek care at Mayo Clinic, you can expect:

  • Coordinated care by a doctor who assesses your needs and arranges appointments with other experts
  • Collaborative care by a group of doctors — each individual is an expert in a different aspects of your care — who communicate regularly and understand you as a whole person
  • Personalized care selected and delivered according to your needs and goals
  • Comprehensive care that considers your beliefs, preferences, family priorities and other psychosocial needs
  • Innovative treatments and approaches that use the latest diagnosis and treatment methods
  • Access to clinical trials that give you an opportunity to gain access to the latest treatments and approaches to supportive therapy and survivorship

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. Holistic Care Makes Breast Cancer Journey Easier to Navigate

    As she thought about her cancer treatment options, Jennifer Deaderick knew she wanted to include therapies that would take all of her needs into account. She found the type of whole-person care she was looking for at Mayo Clinic. Jennifer Deaderick has always loved a good adventure. In 2014, the occupational therapist moved from California [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. 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 [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  6. 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 [...]

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic doctors are widely respected for their expertise and experience in providing supportive therapy and survivorship care for people with breast cancer.

Nationally recognized expertise

Outside organizations recognize Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists through accreditations, grants and rankings:

  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Mayo Clinic is accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer and multiple campuses are accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
  • Mayo Clinic is one of a select group of medical centers in the United States to be recognized as a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) for breast cancer research, funded by the National Cancer Institute. To earn a highly competitive SPORE grant, institutions must demonstrate a high degree of collaboration between first-rate scientists and clinicians and show excellence in translational research projects.
  • Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers participate in research cooperatives, such as the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium, which gives people with cancer access to the latest clinical trials

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.

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.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Dec. 29, 2017
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Breast cancer survivorship. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  2. Stan D, et al. Breast cancer survivorship issues. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2013;27:805.
  3. Palliative care. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed June 28, 2017.
  4. Ruddy KJ, et al. Approach to the patient following treatment for breast cancer. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 11, 2017.
  5. Ruddy KJ, et al. Alternative exercise traditions in cancer rehabilitation. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2017;28:181.
  6. Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 21, 2017.
  7. McDermott AM, et al. Surgeon and breast unit volume-outcome relationships in breast cancer surgery and treatment. Annals of Surgery. 2013;258:808.
  8. Breast SPOREs. National Cancer Institute. https://trp.cancer.gov/spores/breast.htm. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  9. National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/quality-programs/napbc. Accessed August 2, 2017.
  10. Searching for cancer centers. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/search/cancer-programs. Accessed August 2, 2017.

Breast cancer supportive therapy and survivorship