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Breast cancer care

If you or someone you care about is worried about breast cancer, have recently been diagnosed, are going through treatment or just have questions, Allina Health’s comprehensive breast cancer care experts are here to help.

Allina Health’s comprehensive breast cancer care program includes state-of-the-art screening, diagnostics and treatment for breast cancer. Allina Health also offers breast cancer education, genetic counseling, high risk breast cancer programs, shared decision-making models and education and support. 


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What it is

Breast cancer is a disease where cells in the breast begin to grow out of control, forming tumors. These abnormal cells can occur in any of the types of tissue that make up the breasts, including lobes, ducts and vessels.

During the early stages of breast cancer, there are rarely any symptoms. Breast cancer can be detected by feeling a lump in the breast or through mammography, an X-ray of the breast tissue.

Good to know

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. One in eight women and about 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. Estimates are that 42,260 Americans will die from breast cancer each year.

Finding breast cancer early reduces your risk of dying from the disease. The five-year survival rate for those whose breast cancer is found early, before it has had a chance to spread, is 99 percent.

Certain risks increase your chance of having breast cancer.  Being a woman and age are the two greatest risk factors for getting breast cancer. The majority of all breast cancers occur in women who have no other risk factors.  As you get older, your risk of getting breast cancer increases. Other risk factors include:

  • family history of breast cancer
  • age
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • certain inherited genes
  • dense breast tissue
  • exposure to estrogen
  • family history of breast cancer
  • history of chest radiation, especially at a young age
  • obesity
  • personal history of atypical cells in your breast
  • personal history of breast cancer
  • prior breast biopsies with high-risk results

Talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer. Your doctor may recommend genetic screening to determine if you are at higher risk than normal.


Good for preventing

Routine mammography is the best screening tool for early detection of breast cancer. If you have questions or notice changes, it is important to discuss this with your primary care provider. You know your body best.

  • A mammogram is the only screening test that has been shown to decrease the chance of dying from breast cancer.
  • Mammograms help women find breast cancer in early stages. It can show changes in the breast up to two years before you or your health care provider can feel them.
  • If you have cancer, this may give you more choice for your treatment or improve your chance of survival.

Piper Breast Center®'s advanced screening and diagnostic services can also detect and evaluate breast conditions, such as a new lump, cysts, microcalcifications, fibrocystic breast changes, mastitis, dense breast tissue, concerns about breast implants and cancer.

Screening and diagnostic services

  • High-quality, low-dose digital mammography
  • 3-D mammography (tomosynthesis)
  • Ultrasound (sonography)
  • Ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration
  • Ductography
  • Image-guided breast biopsies using ultrasound or stereotactic techniques
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and MRI-guided biopsies of the breast
  • Wire localization and seed localization
  • Second opinions 

You can expect a timely reading of mammograms, explanations of procedures and ongoing communication. If more breast imaging is needed for a specific area of concern, it will be done in a time-sensitive manner.

High-Risk Program for Breast Cancer

If you are at high risk for breast cancer, we can help. The High Risk Program offers a complete assessment of your breast cancer risk, individual interventions and screenings and a plan for how to reduce risks.

Good for treating

Treatment for breast cancer may include

Together, you and your health care team will create an individualized plan based on your health, your cancer stage and your needs.

Related links

Source: Allina Health Cancer Care
Reviewed by: Allina Health Cancer Care

First published: 5/20/2019
Last reviewed: 5/20/2019