Breast Cancer

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.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

The first step in developing a treatment plan is to accurately diagnosis your condition.

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.

Breast Reconstruction

Radiation Therapy

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. 

Radiation Therapy

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.


Survivorship Program

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.

How to Get a Second Opinion

Patient & Family Support Services

At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally throughout your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.

Browse All Support Services