Breast cancer care at Mayo
Mayo Clinic specialists provide compassionate care for people with breast cancer.
Note: Items within this content were created prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and do not demonstrate proper pandemic protocols. Please follow all recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for masking and social distancing.
People with breast cancer who seek care at Mayo Clinic will find dedicated breast cancer specialists who provide expert, personalized care using the latest treatment innovations and technology.
Your Mayo Clinic care team
Tailoring Breast Cancer Screening to Each Woman’s Risk
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Breast health specialists in the Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic coordinate care for people with breast cancer. These internal medicine doctors who focus solely on caring for people with breast cancer and other breast conditions will meet with you to understand your needs and make arrangements for necessary tests and appointments. Often, your appointments can be coordinated over a matter of days in one facility.
Mayo Clinic offers a truly integrated practice, with a variety of specialists regularly working together and meeting to discuss cases. This ensures that you receive whole-person care that takes into account all of your needs. Your care team carefully weighs all of your treatment options to create a plan that's personalized for you.
Your breast cancer care team might include:
If you have other health conditions that could be affected by cancer treatment, your team may include additional specialists. For instance, cardiologists from the Cardio-Oncology Clinic may join your team if you have concerns related to your heart.
Mayo Clinic doctors from multiple specialties work together to determine the best treatment for each person with breast cancer.
Advanced diagnosis and treatment
Mayo Clinic doctors have access to the latest technology and techniques to diagnose and treat breast cancer, including clinical trials investigating the latest in medical innovation. Your breast cancer team keeps up on the latest evidence and incorporates this into your treatment plan.
Breast cancer diagnosis begins with high-quality breast imaging that draws from:
- Highly trained staff. Imaging is done by radiologists who specialize in breast imaging, including many who've completed additional, advanced training programs.
- Specialized screening. Experts create screening programs for people with dense breast tissue and those with a high risk of breast cancer using supplemental screening techniques.
- Latest technology. Advanced imaging techniques include digital mammogram, 3-D mammogram (tomosynthesis), breast MRI and molecular breast imaging (MBI).
- Ongoing research. Breast imaging researchers are studying new technology for diagnosing breast cancer, including dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and contrast-enhanced digital mammogram.
The expertise and training of Mayo Clinic breast radiologists combined with advanced technology means your diagnosis can be made quickly and accurately.
Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists offer the latest treatment options designed to increase the effectiveness of treatment and reduce side effects.
Saving hair during chemotherapy.
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Breast cancer treatment innovations are improving the ability to control cancer while reducing the impact of treatment on your daily life and increasing your satisfaction with your appearance after surgery. Mayo Clinic achieves this by:
- Offering a full range of treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy and clinical trials
- Reducing the risk of heart damage in left-sided breast cancer by using innovative radiation therapy techniques to shape the energy beams around the tumor, such as proton therapy
- Limiting lymph node removal to reduce the risk of surgery-related lymphedema by using techniques such as sentinel lymph node biopsy and neoadjuvant therapy
- Avoiding the need for a second operation after lumpectomy with intraoperative pathology and frozen section analysis — procedures that involve pathologists analyzing tissue samples during surgery to make sure all the cancer is removed during the operation
- Condensing treatment to less than 10 days so that people with small, low-risk tumors experience the smallest impact on their daily lives with an expedited breast cancer treatment combining lumpectomy and accelerated partial breast irradiation
- Improving your confidence in your appearance after surgery by using innovative techniques that optimize the appearance of your reconstructed breast while maintaining excellent cancer control (oncoplastic surgery), such as combining lumpectomy with a breast lift or breast reduction
- Utilizing advanced surgical techniques to perform muscle-sparing breast reconstruction techniques to create a new breast using your own tissue
The range of treatments available at Mayo Clinic means your care team has many options to create a personalized treatment plan that works for you.
Experienced Mayo Clinic specialists take the time to help you understand your options and help you feel confident in making decisions about your care.
Experience you can trust
Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience caring for people with breast cancer:
- More than 10,000 people seek breast cancer care each year
- Nearly 1,500 people undergo breast cancer surgery 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.
Mayo Clinic doctors specialize in care for:
At Mayo Clinic, specialists consider your goals and preferences when designing a personalized treatment plan.
Personalized breast cancer treatment
Your breast cancer care team works closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan based on your particular situation, as well as your needs and goals.
Elements of a personalized care plan might include:
- Reviewing all available treatment options. You'll have the opportunity to meet with a variety of specialists to help you understand all of your treatment options. Your appointments will be coordinated so you can make a timely decision about your care.
- Creating convenient treatment schedules that reduce your need for additional travel and time when possible, such as lumpectomy with accelerated partial breast irradiation and mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction. Mayo Clinic doctors can work with your local doctors to coordinate chemotherapy and other medicines so you won't always need to travel for care.
- Coordinating supportive services. During and after treatment, you'll be connected to specialists who can help you heal and regain function, such as those who focus on rehabilitation, integrative medicine, sleep, women's health, nutrition, stress management and breast cancer survivorship.
- Tailoring treatment based on genetics. Mayo Clinic doctors use personalized medicine for breast cancer to choose treatments based on your genetic makeup or the genetics of your cancer cells. Examples include testing for CYP2D6 before prescribing tamoxifen and analyzing tumor cells to select targeted drug treatments.
- Connecting you to other breast cancer survivors. Your care team can connect you with support groups and mentorship programs that pair you with a cancer survivor who can answer questions and provide support.
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.
A third chance for a young breast cancer patient
Breast cancer does not discriminate ― a truth that a young Florida woman knows three times over. While in college, Jessica Florence found a lump on her right breast. The 21-year-old initially did not believe what she found was serious until she was in pain and experiencing other symptoms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpSCKDvt7KA&t=1s "When I think of breast cancer, I think of, you know, an older woman ― 40 or 60 ― but not 21 or 22," says…
Finding joy after rare neurologic diagnosis
When Joy Carol finds something she is passionate about, she embraces it. A love of international development work and education led to a 35-year career working with international organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme, the Ford Foundation, Save the Children and Child Fund. Although New York City was her home base, Joy visited and supervised programs in more than 40 developing countries. In 2013, just after her 75th birthday, Joy was visiting friends in Greece when she first realized her…
Preventive screening during COVID-19 pandemic leads to early diagnosis of treatable breast cancer
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, health care providers have been concerned about a growing number of patients delaying or skipping preventive screenings because they have been hesitant to see their health care provider. Experts have stressed that it's not only safe to come in for preventive screenings, but also it's important to avoid future health problems or catch them early when they are easier to treat. That's particularly true when it comes to cancer. No one…
Dancing through complex care during COVID-19
Twin Cities journalist Sonya Goins, like so many, has been coping with the challenges that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as working remotely and not being able to see family and friends. If all of that weren't difficult enough, for the past year, she's also been battling breast cancer and Crohn's disease at Mayo Clinic. Watch: Dancing through complex care during COVID-19. https://youtu.be/i1o258wZnSM Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (5:08) is in the downloads at the…
Expertise and rankings
Mayo Clinic specialists draw on their expertise to provide you with exactly the care you need.
Mayo Clinic doctors are widely respected for their expertise and experience in diagnosing and treating 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's campus in Florida is accredited by the American College of Surgeons' 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, which gives people with cancer access to the latest clinical trials.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.
Sharing expertise with the community
Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists use their expertise in the community by participating in:
- Breast cancer screening services for underserved groups and community clinics
- Appointments via video technology for Alaska Native women with a high risk of breast cancer
- Community awareness events, including Join the Journey and the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer
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.