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The Breast Cancer Program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is made up of a diverse group of nationally-recognized specialists in breast cancer research and treatment. Led by Vered Stearns, M.D., and Sara Sukumar, Ph.D, physician-scientists in the breast cancer program are studying new ways to treat breast cancer, including treatment tailored to the unique makeup of each individual patient.
Our breast cancer experts develop innovative clinical trials to test new treatments and move care standards forward. Experts in survivorship care provide women with with support, guidance and medical recommendations . Our medical oncologists and radiation oncologists work closely with surgeons, plastic surgeons, radiogists, and other specialists within the Johns Hopkins Breast Center.
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 21 of the world's leading cancer centers. NCCN has developed treatment guidelines for patients, based on its clinical practice guidelines for physicians.
Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers among women in the United States. The disease also occurs rarely in men. While incidence rates have continued to rise, deaths due to breast cancer are beginning to decline. This decline is largely attributable to earlier detection and improved treatments. Mammography and other newly-developed diagnostic techniques allow breast cancers to be detected before they cause any physical symptoms. New molecular genetic findings have allowed experts to identify those women at greatest risk for developing the disease. In addition, oncologists' ability to differentiate specific types of breast cancer, such as pre- and post-menopausal, has allowed for the precise tailoring of therapies and improved survival rates. In fact, there are more than 1.6 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today because of better diagnosis, treatments, and increasing knowledge about breast cancer
Our experts answer your questions about breast cancer in the C-Answers video series. Listen to our experts discuss breast cancer therapy, genetics, clinical trials, our multidisciplinary team, and the importance of continued research funding.
Read "Breast Matters," our Breast Cancer Program newsletter.
Being treated for breast cancer can be life-altering; the effects of diagnosis and treatment can linger for some time. When treatment ends, you will look and feel different. On an emotional level, you may have lost part of your self-image as a healthy person. On a physical level, you may have lost part or all of one breast—or even both breasts. You may have undergone lymph node surgery. You may have had chemotherapy, radiation or both. Each phase of treatment and the way you cope is unique.
Breast cancer survivors may have lingering side effects including bone/joint pain, hot flashes and/or night sweats. Be sure to allow your body time to heal and adjust; side effects like fatigue can last for a year. Survivors taking hormonal therapy may experience menopausal symptoms until this adjuvant therapy is completed. Survivors may still need final touch-ups on reconstruction, requiring additional surgery. Always discuss any health concerns and symptoms with your doctor.
It is common to have concerns about your health and how to move forward after treatment ends. Defining wellness for each patient can be different. It is rare to feel the same as before diagnosis but all patients can look forward to being healthy again. As you recover, take charge of your health by eating healthy, exercising and reducing stress. Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol intake. Keep up with screenings for other cancers, like colonoscopies.
The Johns Hopkins Breast Center offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. There are breast cancer survivor volunteers available to talk to for support. The Breast Center also holds retreats for patients who have completed their acute treatment and have transitioned into short-term survivorship, and for patients with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. For more information, contact Mary Capano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of organizations offering resources and support for breast cancer patients, caregivers and survivors, including the Avon Foundation for Women, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Breastcancer.org.