Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment in Burlington, VT

Immediately following diagnosis, you will meet and receive feedback from all members of your treatment team – in one day, in one place. This team typically includes the following specialists:

Additionally, nurses and support staff provide an extra measure of knowledge, training and compassion; dedicated plastic surgeons help restore physical appearance following surgery; and psychologists and registered dieticians work closely with patients and their families along the way to help them cope with the diagnosis, treatment, and after-care.

Breast Cancer Treatment Options at Fletcher Allen

A great deal of progress has been made in cancer care in recent years, and for many of the treatments below side effects have been greatly reduced.

The Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic includes a skilled team of cancer surgeons — some devote their entire practice to breast surgery. If a biopsy is needed, specialists perform core or fine-needle biopsies — increasingly seen as the technique of choice. An important focus for breast surgeons is to conserve as much of the breast as possible. 

Mastectomy versus Breast-Conserving Surgery

Many breast cancer patients who would traditionally require a mastectomy due to tumor size, position, or distribution may be offered breast conservation using a new technique. 

Fletcher Allen offers oncoplastic breast surgery. In this type of procedure, a surgical oncologist and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon perform the breast-conserving surgery together, removing the tumor and reshaping the breast to preserve as much of the natural appearance as possible.

Oncoplastic Surgery: Breast-Conserving Surgery Benefits

The oncoplasty procedure:

  • Helps more women avoid a full mastectomy, letting them keep their breast and have a shorter recovery period
  • Looks better after a breast lumpectomy procedure
  • May enhance the effectiveness of follow-up radiation treatment when larger-breasted women who are appropriate candidates get a breast reduction at the same time

Patients seen in Fletcher Allen’s Multidisciplinary Breast Care Center will be evaluated for oncoplastic surgical procedures during the management of their breast cancer. Candidates for this type of surgery will have the opportunity to meet with both the surgical oncologist and plastic surgeon prior to surgery to discuss the approach to their care.

Breast Cancer Specialized Programs

At the same time that a patient receives the life-altering diagnosis of breast cancer, children still need to be picked up at school, groceries still need to be purchased...in other words, life goes on. Fletcher Allen supports patients as they integrate their health care needs into their daily lives, providing the information and support they need during their treatment period – and beyond. 

Here are some specialized programs we offer to meet your needs:

  • Familial Cancer - For women who have a family history of breast cancer, we provide risk assessments, genetic testing and counseling, and personalized cancer screening.
  • High-Risk Program - The High-Risk Breast program offers education, evaluation, and clinical trials for women who are at increased risk for breast cancer.
  • Lymphedema Treatment - For women who suffer from lymphedema – a swelling of the arm or breast that can result from breast cancer surgery – the Lymphedema Clinic offers evaluation, specialized bra fittings, and general physical rehabilitation medicine. 
  • Long-term Surveillance - The Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic provides long-term surveillance of cancer patients through the dedicated team of nurse practitioners. Regular clinical evaluations coordinated with breast imaging can be instrumental in identifying early changes or concerns.

Find a Fletcher Allen Health Care physician or call 802-847-2262.