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Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

If you’re facing a breast cancer diagnosis, the Ackerman Cancer Center team will be there to help.

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. But that doesn’t mean that all breast cancer is the same—each breast tumor is unique, as are the needs and challenges of each breast cancer patient. Innovation in breast cancer treatment means there are more treatment options than ever before for those facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

At Ackerman Cancer Center, we take the time to get to know each patient so that we can best address their unique physical, social, emotional, and financial needs to give them the best potential for a cure. We want to be there to help you defeat breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Most breast cancers are treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination of the three. Hormonal therapy and targeted therapies may also be used to treat specific types of cancer. Many patients find comfort in taking the time to discuss all treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects.

Breast cancer treatment is determined by a number of factors including:

  • The patient’s overall health
  • Type of cancer
  • Location of the cancer in the breast
  • Whether the cancer has spread
  • Cancer cell subtype
  • The aggressiveness of the cancer
  • Genetic makeup of the tumor
  • Whether the cancer is sensitive to female hormones

Ackerman Cancer Center will work closely with you, and other cancer specialists, to determine the best treatment for you and your breast cancer.

Proton Therapy for Breast Cancer

Ackerman Cancer Center is proud to be the world’s first private practice offering its own proton beam technology. Although proton therapy is not right for every patient, the radiation oncologists at Ackerman Cancer Center will work with you to evaluate all options when developing your personalized treatment plan. For many with early stage breast cancer, locally advanced breast cancer, and ductal carcinoma, proton therapy may be a good treatment option.

For those who are good candidates for proton therapy, this treatment type offers a proven lower risk of cardiac events and secondary cancer diagnoses, as well as reduced rates of side effects and possibly higher cure rates.

The proton beams used in proton therapy deliver unrivaled precision that is able to conform to the unique shape and size of the tumor. This targeting ability allows for less radiation to healthy issue, providing a protective benefit to your heart, spinal cord, lungs, and healthy breast tissue.

Types of Breast Cancer Treatments

The Center is committed to delivering the highest level of breast cancer care available in Northeast Florida and is equipped with some of the most advanced radiation therapy delivery systems available today, including:

  • Proton Therapy

    Proton therapy is one of the most precise, advanced radiation treatment modalities available today. In traditional photon radiation, the X-ray beams travel through the tumor, destroying both cancerous and healthy tissue along the way. Proton therapy provides a more efficient solution by utilizing charged particles (protons) to penetrate the tissue and deposit nearly all of their energy directly at the tumor site, thereby reducing damage to surrounding areas.

    Ackerman Cancer Center is proud to be the world’s first private practice offering its own proton beam technology. Though proton therapy is not right for every patient, the radiation oncologists at Ackerman Cancer Center will consider all options when developing your personalized treatment plan.

    Learn more about proton therapy

  • 3-D External Beam Radiation

    3-D External Beam Radiation, also known as 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy, is a technique that delivers radiation to a tumor site. Imaging scans and special computers map the location of the tumor in three dimensions. During treatment, several beams deliver radiation matched to the shape of the tumor.

  • AccuBoost®

    AccuBoost® is often used in conjunction with breast conservation therapy. This breast radiotherapy uses real-time mammogram technology to pinpoint the lumpectomy site. The treatment delivers a high, or “boost,” dose of radiation directly to the tumor cavity margin, while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation.

  • Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI)

    APBI is a form of internal radiation therapy, also known as brachytherapy. For this treatment, surgeons insert a catheter into the cavity that remains after a lumpectomy procedure. A radioactive source is then inserted into the catheter to deliver radiation to the lumpectomy site, killing any breast cancer cells that may remain.

  • Brachytherapy

    Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that delivers a higher dose of radiation directly to the tumor, the area near it, or the site following tumor removal. This approach helps protect surrounding healthy tissue. Ackerman Cancer Center performs brachytherapy treatments such as prostate seed implants, APBI, and Valencia® for skin cancer.

  • Electron Beam Radiation Therapy

    Electron Radiotherapy is a form of external beam radiation that delivers electrons to the tumor site using the Elekta Medical Linear Accelerator.

  • Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

    IMRT uses beams of radiation from multiple angles, and of varying intensities, to conform to the shape of the tumor. IGRT utilizes 3-D images to monitor the tumor’s exact location during treatment. These technologies work together to reduce exposure to healthy tissues and minimize side effects of treatment.

Research on Proton for Breast Cancer

Cosmetic Effects of Proton Therapy and Breast Cancer Outcomes

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics

This article provides an updated report of a trial reviewing early stage breast cancer patient outcomes who are treated with proton beam radiation therapy. The report concludes after 5 years there was an overall 95% survival and ...

Proton Therapy Spares Heart in Breast Cancer Treatment

New England Journal of Medicine

Proton beam therapy provides targeted radiation that can help protect surrounding organs and tissue. When treating left breast cancer, the heart gets radiation exposure due to its location, but with proton therapy the heart and ...

Get Started Today

The first step is scheduling a consultation. To set up a consultation, please call us on 904-880-5522. Setting up a consultation allows you to get your questions answered and take the first step in getting a comprehensive cancer care partner to address your financial, social, emotional, and physical journey.

Patient Stories

Meet Maria, Breast Cancer Survivor

At the heart of every single treatment delivered at Ackerman Cancer Center is a patient whose life has been affected by cancer. Meet Maria. Her story brings hope and encouragement to others battling this difficult disease. Listen as she shares her experience.

Meet Christy, Breast Cancer Survivor

In this audio clip, Christy describes how she discovered Ackerman Cancer Center.

Meet Kristen, Breast Cancer Survivor

“Wonderful, fabulous caring staff! Dr. Ackerman is the greatest. I had proton for left-sided breast cancer, and I am cancer free now. I highly recommend you look into proton therapy at Ackerman Cancer Center—you cannot go wrong. Wonderful, professional, and family-type atmosphere. There is a nutrition specialist on staff, Karen, who will guide you in your fight against cancer by showing you the correct foods and finding recipes that contain foods you like to eat. I originally went elsewhere for my surgery and chemotherapy—but they did not have proton for left-sided breast cancer. You must preserve your heart from damage. Proton does that.”

Meet Jill, Breast Cancer Survivor

“The medical professionals at Ackerman Cancer Center mean the world to me. I was treated for breast cancer at Ackerman Cancer Center’s Amelia Island office. I received the best of care and could not be more grateful to them for helping me through this. Thanks again for the healing that went beyond the physical. I got just as much (if not more) out of the times when you laughed with me, cried with me, hugged me.”