According to the American Cancer Society, almost 6,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Arizona this year. From the moment a woman is faced with the news of an abnormal mammogram, it is impossible for her not to feel a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. What stage is my cancer? What treatments do I need? What side effects will I have? These are all common questions a newly-diagnosed breast cancer patient may have.

Another concern a breast cancer patient may have is how they are going to be treated? Patients want to be treated with respect and compassion and they want physicians who are going to listen to them in an honest and open way. They want to be treated with high-quality care in a comfortable and caring environment.

At Alliance Surgery Arizona and Alliance Cancer Care Arizona, we get it. We understand that supporting women during, and after, breast cancer treatment is vital. That is why we have a team of physicians and breast cancer experts focused on you and your needs. Our surgical, radiation oncology, and medical oncology team work together to determine the best course of treatment for you and create a personalized action plan to fight your cancer. In addition to treating your cancer, our physicians will also make sure you are taken care of emotionally, mentally, and physically, offering any assistance needed through the Alliance Cancer Support Center.

Breast Services Offered
Surgery

Core Needle Biopsy – Standard way to diagnose, or rule out, breast cancer. A hollow needle is used to remove samples of tissue from the breast and a pathologist studies these samples under a microscope to see if they contain cancer.

Excisional Breast Biopsy – Procedure that removes a noncancerous tumor, such as a fibroadenoma, from the breast.

Lumpectomy – Sometimes call breast-conserving surgery, a lumpectomy is an operation to remove breast cancer while leaving as much normal breast as possible. Some surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes are usually also removed, with how much of the breast being removed depending on the size and location of the tumor. It is often an option for women with early-stage cancer.

Mastectomy – A surgery which removes the breast tissue, nipple, and areola, but not all the lymph nodes.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy – Removal of the breast due to breast cancer or as a preventative measure known as risk reduction surgery. Through a small incision, all of the breast glandular tissue is removed from beneath the overlying skin and nipple.

Modified Radical Mastectomy – A surgery that removes the entire breast, including the breast tissue, skin, areola, nipple, and most of the underarm lymph nodes.

Radiation Therapy

3D-Conformal Radiation Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) – 3D-Conformal Radiation Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) are two forms of External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT). During 3D-Conformal treatments, a device called a “multi-leaf collimator” will shape the individual radiation beams to “conform” to the shape of your tumor according to the data and instructions it receives from the system computer. IMRT uses thousands of radiation “beamlets” from many different angles to deliver a single dose of radiation. The intensity of the “beamlets” can change during the treatment session to modulate the dose, so that the tumor receives a very precise high dose of radiation, while minimizing damage to surrounding, normal tissue.
Before each session, a radiation therapist will carefully position you on the treatment table using a body immobilizer for precise body placement. Image guidance will be used to confirm the location of the tumor before the therapy begins. During your treatment sessions, the radiation delivery system will revolve around you, delivering the radiation according to the plan set by your radiation oncologist. Each treatment session lasts from 10 to 30 minutes. Typically, you will be scheduled for five sessions a week for five to six weeks. The sessions are pain-free and require no sedation so you can return to your normal activities right away.

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) – Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) is almost always delivered with a specialized form of High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (internally delivered radiation therapy), but it can also by done with short-course external radiation. APBI is ideal for early stage breast cancer cases where breast preservation is a priority. In APBI Brachytherapy, your general surgeon will insert a catheter through the skin and into the cavity left by the removed tumor. Once inserted, it is left in place for the rest of the treatment course. During treatment, a computer-controlled machine inserts tiny radioactive “pellets” into the catheter to deliver the radiation directly to the tumor. APBI is an effective, post-lumpectomy radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells in the breast tissue and to help prevent a recurrence. It reduces your breast cancer treatment from six weeks to two sessions per day, six hours apart, for five days. This means much less stress on you and your family, less time away from home and work and a quick return to your normal routine. It requires no sedation so you can drive yourself back and forth to treatments.

Medical Oncology

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy may be used as a breast cancer treatment before or after surgery. Treatment typically lasts from three to six months. Your oncologist may recommend one of three different forms of chemotherapy. Neo-adjuvant or primary systemic chemotherapy is used before radiation or surgery to help shrink the tumor. Adjuvant chemotherapy is used after radiation or surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Systemic chemotherapy circulates throughout the body via the bloodstream when the cancer is metastatic.

Meet The Team
 
Ramon Mourelo, MD

Surgeon

 
Ajay Bhatnagar, MD, MBA

Radiation Oncologist

 
Carlos E. Arce-Lara, MD

Medical Oncologist & Hematologist

Patient Stories
Untitled-1
june_name

“Dr. Mourelo is such a caring doctor who took his time with and explained everything very clearly so I would know what was going to happen to me. He put me at ease and I felt very well taken care of.”

Brenda
brenda_name

“The technicians, Dr. Bhatnagar, and everyone who worked together in the Alliance system were absolutely wonderful. I didn’t have to go to one place to see one person and another place to see another person. I didn’t have to go outside of that circle. They were all talking and working together as a team to gather all the information about me and make the best-educated decision about my treatment.”

Jane
Jane-Name

“The entire team at Alliance was wonderful. They were absolutely loving and I don’t know what I would have done without them. They saved my life.”

For more information, or to speak to one of our breast care experts, please contact us today.
Alliance Surgery Arizona
1281 East Cottonwood Lane,
Casa Grande, AZ 85122
(520) 876-0416
Alliance Cancer Care Arizona
1876 E. Sabin Drive, Suite 10,
Casa Grande, AZ 85122
(520) 836-9800

This site does not provide medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

©Copyright 2019 Alliance Cancer Care Arizona. All Rights Reserved