Dr. Harness describes how breast cancer is treated.
Dr. Harness, M.D.:
You have to think of two, again, major categories of treatment. One is of the breast itself, and that’s usually divided into, in layman’s term is a lumpectomy, meaning taking out the cancerous area with normal tissue surrounding, usually followed by radiation therapy. So that’s one category, and that big category is called breast conservation, meaning we are saving the breast.
The second category, and we’re, and no matter what we do surgically to the breast, we want to always check the lymph nodes to see if they are involved with cancer, but the second big category of treatment of breast cancer is mastectomy. And again, I want to urge most women, if they do need to have a mastectomy that they really consider immediate reconstruction to reshape the area of the mastectomy.
Now those are the local controls of the cancer in the breast, but once a cancer becomes invasive, cancer cells circulate in the body, and so we’ve known for greater than 20 years that you have to treat the whole body for breast cancer, either with chemotherapy potentially, and/or anti-hormone therapy potentially.
About Dr. Harness, M.D.:
Dr. Jay Harness, M.D., is the Director at St. Joseph Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center. Practicing medicine for 35 years, Dr. Harness specializes in general surgery and medical oncology. Graduating medical school from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he conducting his internship and residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Recognized nationally and internationally for his work in breast and endocrine surgery, Dr. Harness is the immediate past-President of The American Society of Breast Surgeons and is President-elect of Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness can assist patients in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Visit Dr. Harness at St. Joseph Hospital