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Breast Cancer

Consider the following statistics related to breast cancer:

  • Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in females.
  • Breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in females after lung cancer.
  • There are approximately 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

  • A lump or thickening (a mass or swelling) in or near the breast or in the armpit area
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • A change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast, areola or nipple (dimpled, puckered, red, swollen or rash)
  • Nipple discharge, erosion, inversion, tenderness, or itching
  • A female (or male) should consult a physician when any of these symptoms are noticed.

Summa Health System - Akron and Barberton Campuses are accredited by The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). NAPBC is a group of national, professional organizations focused on breast health and dedicated to the improvement of quality outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast.

Risk Factors

Summa Health uses a Cancer Risk Assessment at the time of your screening mammogram to help determine your individual risk based on your family history and risk factors. We can make the appropriate recommendations based on your results.

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Some risk factors, such as smoking, can be changed. Others, like family history or genetics, cannot.

There are lifestyle choices you can make to keep your risk as low as it can be:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • exercising regularly
  • limiting alcohol
  • eating nutritious food
  • never smoking (or quitting if you do smoke)

Having a risk factor, or even several risk factors does not mean that you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors.

Breast Cancer Genetics

About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child.

Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two).

If you're at high risk for breast cancer, you and your doctor will develop a screening plan tailored to your unique situation. Individuals at higher risk for developing breast cancer may start screening earlier than age 40.

Please talk to your provider about your personal level of breast cancer risk and risk management options. Although you cannot change your family history or age, it may be possible to lower your breast cancer risk assessment score with lifestyle modifications in collaboration with your healthcare provider(s).

Treatment Overview

The Summa Health Cancer Institute is at the forefront of comprehensive cancer care treatments. We fight complex, advanced stages of cancer every day with targeted treatment options based on the latest national clinical guidelines. Our multidisciplinary team includes breast surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and dedicated breast radiologists along with a robust patient navigation program for patients.

Our treatment options for breast cancer may include:

  • Surgical Treatment:
    • Outpatient breast conservation surgery
    • Oncoplastic techniques including nipple sparing mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction 
  • Radiation Therapy: Leading radiation oncology specialists who deliver treatment, including whole breast and partial breast radiation options, with pinpoint accuracy to spare healthy tissue and organs.
  • Chemotherapy: Experienced medical oncologists who provide chemotherapy and immunotherapy, as well as other treatments.
  • Patient & Family Services: Patient support programs and services focused on nutrition, behavioral health, pain and symptom management, palliative care, home care, social services, financial counseling, alternative medicines and support groups. 

Our Summa Health specialists have many breast cancer treatment options available to create a personalized plan of care for you. 


Prevention & Screenings


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.