If you have breast cancer and don't know where to begin, start your journey with us.
We offer therapeutic approaches you won't find anywhere else in the San Diego region.
Nationally Ranked Cancer Care
UC San Diego Health is repeatedly ranked among the nation's best in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. We are also the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego County. This is the highest possible rating for a U.S. cancer center, and it means you’ll receive the best possible care and support. Studies show patient outcomes are better at NCI-designated cancer centers.
Our cancer care is also accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), reflecting our dedication to continuously improving the quality of our breast cancer care.
Types of Breast Cancer We Treat
Your UC San Diego Health care team treats all types and stages of breast cancer in women and men. We also offer second-opinion services.
Ductal and lobular carcinoma
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and other in situ breast cancers
HER2-positive breast cancer
Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer
Invasive breast cancer
Recurrent breast cancer
Triple-negative breast cancer
Diagnosing Breast Cancer
The first step in developing a treatment plan is to accurately diagnosis your condition.
Breast Imaging & Biopsy
We're a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and offer advanced image-guided biopsies to diagnose and stage cancer.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may receive genetic testing and specialized screenings.
Video: What to Know about Breast Cancer
Rebecca Shatsky, MD, medical oncologist at UC San Diego Health, answers your questions about breast cancer prevalence, diagnosis and treatment.
Comprehensive, Personalized Treatments
At UC San Diego Health, you’ll find specialists who work together to understand your disease and develop a treatment strategy that is unique to you. Your care plan may include one or a combination of the following treatment approaches.
Breast Surgery & Reconstruction
Increasingly, breast cancer surgery is less invasive and can be performed without a hospital stay. More women are candidates for breast conservation, accomplished through a lumpectomy or segmental mastectomy (removal of only the affected tissue). Your UC San Diego Health surgeon is an expert in sentinel node biopsy, which can help prevent your cancer from spreading. If you need a mastectomy, you have a range of breast reconstruction options with board-certified plastic surgeons.
Your doctor may recommend radiation therapy to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Our radiation oncologists offer the most advanced procedures to precisely kill cancer cells while protecting healthy tissue. We were one of the nation's first centers to offer high-dose-rate brachytherapy via the SAVI applicator. We're also a nationally recognized leader in developing accelerated partial breast irradiation as an alternative to whole breast irradiation for some patients.
Chemotherapy & Other Therapeutics
Our understanding of breast cancer, including how genetics contribute to the disease, is advancing rapidly. We now use genetic testing to match drugs to your cancer. If you do need infusion therapy — which is a course of drugs delivered intravenously — you’ll come to our infusion center at the Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion, the region's only infusion center dedicated to breast cancer care. It offers comfortable chairs with soothing panoramic views of the La Jolla canyons and is a few steps away from our clinics so that you're always close to your doctors and nurses.
Immunotherapy harnesses your body's immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy may be a treatment option for certain breast cancers.
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation after breast cancer surgery may include occupational therapy, physical therapy or exercise to help you regain function and range of motion in your arms and upper body. It can also help detect or prevent lymphedema and axillary web syndrome (cording), two common side effects of surgery.
In addition to standard approaches, you may qualify for a clinical trial, which gives you early access to the most promising therapies and advanced technologies. UC San Diego Health is a national leader in designing clinical trials, expanding your treatment options and giving you access to the latest breast therapies.
Your team will stay with you for years through our Survivorship Program. While most surgeons don't follow their patients for very long after surgery, our entire team is involved in your follow-up care for many years.
Breast Cancer Care Team
At UC San Diego Health, your care is led by a multidisciplinary team of doctors who specialize in breast health. Highly specialized multidisciplinary care is a hallmark of top-tier academic medical centers such as UC San Diego Health. For patients like you, it means you receive the highest level of care. Find a breast health specialist.
Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer
Learn about Your Risk
Up to 10 percent of all breast cancers are caused by genetic changes or mutations that can be inherited. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are understood to be responsible for most cases of inherited breast cancer. We offer genetic testing to identify BRCA and other mutations. Testing can be completed with a simple blood or oral swab test.
Second Opinion Services
When you have a diagnosis as serious as cancer, you deserve a second opinion on your treatment options.
Patient & Family Supportive Services
At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally during your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.