Breast Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

Remarkable care and outcomes are the hallmarks of breast cancer care at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Here, you can expect the most progressive care approaches available.

We use a team approach to treat breast cancer that brings surgical, radiological and medical oncologists together with plastic and reconstructive surgeons, physical therapists and other specialists. This enables us to evaluate your cancer from every angle and create a treatment plan that gives you the best chance of a good outcome.

Why choose Virginia Mason Franciscan Health for breast cancer care

State-of-the-art breast cancer diagnosis

We use the latest diagnostic technologies, including:

  • 3D mammography and MRI-guided breast biopsies, which help accurately diagnose and understand your cancer.
  • Whole-breast automated screening ultrasound, which can uncover certain breast cancers that are hard to detect via a physical exam or mammogram. We’re the first medical center in the region to offer this technology.
  • Genetic testing available through our Clinical Cancer Genetics Program
  • High Risk Breast Clinic, where our experienced clinicians offer a risk model assessment, genetic testing, advanced imaging and other support for those at high risk for breast cancer.

Innovative treatment approaches and expert specialists

When you come to Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, you have access to every available surgical technique for breast cancer—from minimally invasive procedures to full breast reconstruction. Our oncoplastic and plastic surgeons can often reshape and restore a patient’s breast at the time of lumpectomy, eliminating the need for future surgeries.

Additionally, we offer the latest in breast cancer care at treatment centers throughout the Puget Sound area, including:

  • Partial breast radiation, which uses a catheter to deliver targeted radiation to the lumpectomy site. This approach enables us to treat patients in just five consecutive days after surgery.
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), where we use a single dose of radiation at the time of surgery. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is the first medical center in Washington state to offer this therapy in a clinical trial.
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which creates 3D images that pinpoint the exact size and location of tumors and enables us to deliver precise, focused doses of radiation directly to cancer cells, sparing healthy tissue.
  • Chemotherapy and targeted and hormonal therapies that block specific characteristics of cancer cells.
  • Cancer rehabilitation, including lymphedema (swelling) treatment.
  • Home health services 
  • Complementary and alternative medicine 
  • Comprehensive wellness and support resources,  including support groups, classes and resources during treatment and into survivorship.

We make it as easy as possible for you to navigate care, by putting breast cancer care navigators at the center of your care team. Navigators support you throughout your cancer journey and are here to address all questions and concerns.

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

For more than 20 years, the goal of our clinical research program has been to provide each of our patients with a research option at every step of their disease, from initial diagnosis to long-term follow-up. Our trials include the use of chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapies, as well quality of life/symptom management trials. Learn more about our current breast cancer clinical trials 

Nationally recognized services and outcomes

Put your trust in one of the most comprehensive and advanced breast health programs in the Puget Sound. Breast programs at St. Francis Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center and St. Anthony Hospital are accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). We are one of only two accredited programs in both Pierce and King counties.

Breast cancer quality metrics at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health exceed national benchmarks determined by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Quality Forum (NQF). Recent data from the National Cancer Database shows that our Breast Cancer Program outperforms the national median in adhering to CoC best-practice standards. This means you can expect our services to meet the strict CoC standards at a rate that exceeds the national average.

Find a breast cancer specialist

If you’ve been recently diagnosed or would like a second opinion, consult with one of our expert breast cancer specialists.