Mayo Clinic's approach

Breast cancer team collaborates Breast cancer team collaborates

At Mayo Clinic, cancer doctors (medical oncologists) whose specialty is breast cancer work with other experts to provide personalized care.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Your care team is made up of highly specialized experts in the delivery of safe chemotherapy for breast cancer. They work together to provide exactly the care you need.

Personalized breast cancer treatment

Your breast cancer care team works closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan. In the past, most patients with breast cancer underwent surgery followed by chemotherapy. Now treatment can be tailored to the hormonal and genetic characteristics of your tumor (precision medicine for breast cancer). All treatment options are available at Mayo Clinic, including genomic profiling of your tumor.

Your treatment plan will be based on what's right for you and what matters to you. For example, at Mayo Clinic people with early-stage breast cancer may be eligible for a type of chemotherapy delivered before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to shrink the tumor. And people who never had breast cancer but are considered at high risk of developing it may be offered preventive strategies or referred to the high-risk breast clinic.

Mental health specialists are also part of the Mayo Clinic breast cancer care team. Talk with your doctor about whether you might benefit from a referral to one of them.

Innovative techniques

People with breast cancer who come to Mayo Clinic have access to innovative chemotherapy techniques, some of which aren't widely available:

  • Scalp cooling therapy to prevent hair loss. Mayo Clinic uses a Food and Drug Administration-approved cold therapy device (cool cap) that helps prevent hair loss from chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy). This technique shrinks the tumor before surgery, which has been proved to improve surgery outcomes.
  • Clinical research studies. Your doctor may talk with you about participating in a clinical research study (clinical trial). Clinical trials give you access to drugs and the latest treatments not yet generally available.

Chemo targets

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. 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, [...]

  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. 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 [...]

  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 consultation for chemotherapy for breast cancer Mayo Clinic consultation for chemotherapy for breast cancer

A Mayo Clinic doctor and nurse listen to a woman's concerns before she begins chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Every year Mayo Clinic chemotherapy teams treat more than 2,000 people with breast cancer. These teams help people with all types of breast cancer, from the least to most aggressive.

Nationally recognized expertise

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

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.

Jan. 03, 2018
References
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  2. Breast cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed June 28, 2017.
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  4. What to expect when having chemotherapy. Cancer.Net. http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/chemotherapy/what-expect-when-having-chemotherapy. Accessed July 5, 2017.
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  8. Chemotherapy. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/chemotherapy. Accessed July 5, 2017.
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  11. Hartmann LC, et al. Treating invasive breast cancer. In: the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book. Boston, Mass.: Da Capo Press; 2012.
  12. Barbara Woodard Lips Patient Education Center. Breast Cancer Handbook. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
  13. Nangia J, et al. Effect of a scalp cooling device on alopecia in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. The SCALP randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2017;317:596.
  14. Boland TA. Financial Planning and Analysis. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 5, 2017.
  15. Alvaro Moreno A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. July 17, 2017.
  16. Melisko ME, et al. Objective assessment of physical activity during chemotherapy for breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. In press.
  17. Goetz MP, et al. Tumor sequencing and patient-derived xenografts in the neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2017;109:djw306.
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  20. AskMayoExpert. Breast cancer. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2017.

Chemotherapy for breast cancer