Updates

BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Why choose us for breast cancer care?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Siteman Cancer Center and the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center are two programs accessible through BJC HealthCare. We offer advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for all types of breast cancer. We use innovative treatments, and our commitment to research means you have access to new safe and effective therapies as they’re discovered.

When you to come to us for breast cancer care, you’ll find:

  • Recognized excellence: Our network of hospitals provides the highest quality of care close to home. Siteman Cancer Center means access to superior care close to home. Siteman is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 cancer centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Groundbreaking treatments: We’ve pioneered several treatments that improve breast cancer outcomes while reducing negative side effects. From breast-sparing surgeries to genetically targeted medications, our team provides the most advanced breast cancer care. We also offer innovative scalp cooling technology that helps people with breast cancer keep their hair throughout chemotherapy.
  • Research and clinical trials: Our doctors participate in cutting-edge clinical trials that allow you to receive promising new therapies that aren’t widely available.
  • Support when you need it most: We understand that breast cancer treatment can take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. That’s why our cancer support services — including cancer psychologists and nutritional counseling — are available to you and your family.
Suzanne, a breast cancer survivor, shares her story

Suzanne learned she had breast cancer after her annual mammogram alerted her doctors to a potential problem. She credits the care she received at BJC HealthCare with saving her life.

Learn more about Suzanne’s story.
What is breast cancer?

When mutations cause damaged cells in your breast tissue to multiply, it results in cancer. Breast cancer is the name for the disease resulting from those damaged, cancer-causing cells beginning in any part of your breast.

Breast cancer can form in your glands that produce milk (called lobules) or in your ducts that transport the milk from your glands to your nipples. If the cancer cells continue to reproduce, the cancer can spread outside your breast to other parts of your body.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, an estimated 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Although much rarer, men can also get breast cancer.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

The first step toward finding and diagnosing breast cancer often happens during an annual mammogram. That’s why we are proud to provide women with comprehensive breast screening services as part of our Cancer Screening and Prevention Program.

Imaging tests

We use a variety of imaging tests to locate and identify possible tumors in your breast. These include:

Biopsies

If imaging tests reveal a possible tumor in your breast, your doctor will need to take a biopsy (tissue sample) to test. Testing the cells gathered during a biopsy allows us to determine if the tumor is benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Depending on the size and location of the lump or area of concern, we use different biopsy methods:

  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy uses a thin needle to draw out a small sample of fluid or tissue from the lump.
  • Core needle biopsy uses a large needle to remove a cylindrical column of tissue.
  • Surgical biopsy requires an incision in your breast to access and remove a tissue sample.
How is breast cancer treated?

Breast cancer is a complex disease. We have expertise in treating all types of breast cancer — even those that are extremely rare. Our experience, combined with groundbreaking research, is helping us improve outcomes for everyone fighting breast cancer.

Breast cancer treatment may include:

  • Our surgical oncology team includes board-certified surgeons who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer. We provide minimally invasive and robotic options.
  • Our cancer centers provide the latest, most effective chemotherapy and medical oncology treatments with a personalized, compassionate approach.
  • Our radiation oncology team features board-certified radiation oncologists, physicists and cancer biologists who specialize in the latest radiation therapies.
  • Hormone therapy
    A treatment that can slow or stop cancers that use hormones to grow.
  • Our immunotherapy team is knowledgeable in the latest immunotherapy options to treat cancer. We use advanced genetics to tailor your treatment.
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