Comprehensive Breast Cancer Treatment

Coastal Cancer Center provides comprehensive breast cancer treatment for Horry county and the surrounding community. Staying ahead of advancements in breast cancer enables Coastal Cancer Center patients to conveniently receive care in their hometown without the need to drive or fly long distances for the latest therapies. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. The NIH cites that breast cancer death rates have fallen over the past 30 years. Even so, the incidence of those diagnosed continues to rise. Nearly 13% of women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. A breast cancer diagnosis will occur in one out of every eight women.

What is the cause of breast cancer?

Not a result of any one determining factor, breast cancer is typically caused by a combination of individual genes, lifestyle, and environment. Lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, and the use of tobacco or alcohol may play a part in increasing the risk of cancer. National and international research continues to try to pinpoint risk factors for breast cancer. With regard to genes, cancer is intrinsically caused by changes to genes that affect how cells grow and divide. Breast cancer occurs when cells divide uncontrollably in the breast tissue.

Family history can be a factor in breast cancer risk. Those born with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are at extremely high risk. These individuals sometimes opt for preventative mastectomies and/or frequent diagnostic routines to screen for signs of the disease. Those without family history represent the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Important breast cancer risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • BRCA genes and medical history
  • Age
  • Whether you’ve had children
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Use of estrogen birth control or hormone replacement therapy

Early detection remains the best weapon against breast cancer. Screening tests can find the disease before symptoms appear and improve the chance of a cure. Who should get breast screenings?

  • Women 30+ who are at high risk with a family history
  • Women from 40+

Mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs can be used for screening. If breast cancer is detected and confirmed with pathology from a biopsy, treatment can include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. Targeted treatments for HER2-positive cancer have improved survival over the last decade. Treatment plans are tailored to each patient. The plan recommendations are based on the type, stage, and grade of the tumor(s) as well as the overall health of the patient. Key receptors determine the individualized treatment plan, such as the presence of estrogen, progesterone, and a protein called HER2.

Immunotherapy trains your body to fight cancer using your immune system. In cancers such as melanoma, immunotherapy has dramatically improved survival rates. With regard to breast cancer, immunotherapy treatments are limited to patients without hormone or protein receptors, called triple negative. On the horizon, we see promise for immunotherapy for all types of breast cancer, improved targeted therapies, and innovative detection strategies to help medical professionals recommend prevention methods. At Coastal Cancer Center, keeping pace with these innovations is a priority.