Recognized breast cancer care in San Antonio
A breast cancer diagnosis can be confusing and possibly even scary—but you don't have to navigate it alone. At Methodist Healthcare, our cancer network treats more patients with breast cancer than any other hospital system in the Greater San Antonio area.
For more information about our cancer care services, please call askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.
Breast cancer treatment
Our highly trained treatment team of medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and plastic surgeons work together to provide comprehensive, individualized cancer care. Our affiliated physicians are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
We offer Hidden Scar™ procedures for breast cancer surgery. With this approach, your surgeon can place an incision in a location that is hard to see, so your scar is not visible when the incision heals.
In addition to chemotherapy or radiation therapy, your breast cancer doctor may recommend breast surgery as part of your treatment plan.
A mastectomy is a procedure that involves surgically removing the entire breast. You can have a mastectomy to remove one breast (unilateral mastectomy) or both breasts (bilateral mastectomy).
In a mastectomy procedure, your surgeon removes a breast cancer tumor by removing all of the tissue. There are several mastectomy options: a simple (total) mastectomy, skin-sparing mastectomy and a nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM).
An NSM is a type of mastectomy procedure where the surgeons remove all of the breast tissue.
You might be considered for a Hidden Scar™ NSM if no cancerous tissue is found in the nipple. Additionally, a Hidden Scar™ NSM is a safe approach that can be used in patients seeking a prophylactic mastectomy, which is a mastectomy that is performed even if cancer does not exist.
This may be performed in women with:
- Non-invasive cancer
- Small tumors that do not lie directly beneath the nipple
- Family history of breast cancer or the BRCA gene
For patients with early-stage breast cancer, a mastectomy may be a treatment option. The most recent mastectomy techniques allow for breast skin to be preserved, allowing for a more natural breast appearance following the procedure. This procedure is also known as skin-sparing.
Lumpectomy is surgery in which only the tumor and some surrounding tissue are removed. This surgery also referred to as breast-conserving surgery, helps confirm a diagnosis or rule it out. Your doctor may recommend a lumpectomy if a biopsy has shown that you have cancer and that it is small or early stage.
A lumpectomy can be performed as a Hidden Scar™ procedure. There are three different locations for a lumpectomy incision that make the scar less visible:
- Inframammary fold: The natural crease beneath the breast
- Periareolar: Along the edges of the areola
- Axilla: In the armpit, usually hidden in a natural fold
You may be considered for a Hidden Scar™ lumpectomy if the size of the tumor is small enough compared to the size of your breast.
In cases where cancer is found, a lumpectomy is usually followed by radiation therapy to help prevent the cancer from returning.
Breast reconstruction surgery
After a mastectomy or lumpectomy, talk to your nurse navigator about breast reconstructive surgery. Several options that recreate the nipple and areola are available.
Our advanced reconstructive procedure, the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap, is a procedure by which surgeons use the patient's abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy. With the DIEP flap, patients experience faster recovery and a lower risk of complications than many other reconstructive techniques.
Breast cancer nurse navigators
We have dedicated oncology nurse navigators who offer you access to cancer support resources and help you overcome barriers and coordinate care with the entire breast cancer treatment team.
Your navigator will guide and support you and your family through the many challenges of breast cancer and will meet your physical, emotional and spiritual needs with compassion.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally-recognized network.
Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (210) 507-0941 or chat online at askSARAHnow.com.