We know breast cancer
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. When found early, breast cancer is very treatable. Cancer Centers of Montana at St. Vincent Healthcare is here for you.
Detection and diagnosis of breast cancer
Clinical breast exams are an important part of early detection. Your provider will look for abnormalities and warning signs. If something is detected a mammogram, MRI, ultrasound or biopsy may be used to further investigate.
If breast cancer is confirmed, your cancer care team will help you better understand your condition and recommend the most effective, personalized course of treatment.
Possible signs of breast cancer include:
- Lump in breast tissue or underarm area
- Pain in the breast or underarm area
- Changes in breast or nipple look or feel
- Nipple discharge
If you have any of the signs above don’t delay.
Your case is unique, which means your treatment plan will be designed around your needs. Breast cancer is typically treated through a combination of treatments, such as radiation therapy, infusion, chemotherapy or other specialized therapies. Surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy) is often done to remove the tumor. Some breast cancer patients may qualify for clinical trials.
Innovative techniques and technologies.We target breast tumors with some of the most advanced treatments and technology available. Our accredited breast cancer programs may offer:
- Breast density measurement – A revolutionary imaging technology that allows a radiologist to assess breast density with mammography to better detect breast cancer in its earliest and most curable stages.
- Cancer cell detection – An innovative technology that allows breast surgeons to detect and remove microscopic cancer cells while still in surgery, thereby reducing the need for additional operations.
- Radiation oncology targeting – A medical device that allows radiation oncologists to precisely target areas of the breast where a cancerous tumor was removed.
- Non-wire localization systems – A new surgical guidance system that eliminates the need to implant an uncomfortable external guide wire before surgery (the guide wire is standard at every other breast center in Colorado).
Collaborating for the best care
Every week, a team of specialists meets to discuss breast cancer cases and collaborate on the best treatment for each patient. You benefit from the combined expertise of specialists in radiology, surgery, pathology, pharmacology, oncology and therapists in fields like physical therapy and psychology. Your recommended treatment will be based on best practices that have worked for other patients, specific aspects of your cancer/tumor, the results of all your tests, the stage of your cancer and your personal preferences.
Research and Clinical Trials
As an SCL Health patient you have the opportunity to expand your treatment options. You may be eligible to participate in a clinical research study. Your health situation is unique and our investigators recognize the value clinical research can play in effective, targeted treatment. They will help guide you in considering the options available. If you are a good fit for a research trial, they can help you get enrolled. Learn more.
Genetic Testing & Counseling
Your family history may contribute to your risk of developing breast cancer. St. Vincent Healthcare has a full-time genetic counselor on staff. Patients are referred if a possibility of a genetic connection is detected. We work to expedite your results so you can get answers to important questions. Learn more.
Care and Support
Facing breast cancer can be life changing. You need an exceptional team by your side.
After your diagnosis, you will connect with one of our specialized breast cancer nurse navigators. The nurse navigator serves as a patient educator and care guide focused on improving your cancer treatment experience. Your nurse navigator will assist you at every stage, help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options and coordinate care between your physician, surgeon and other support teams.. They get to know you, your family and your special situation to provide in-depth expertise and guidance in considering treatment options.
Our care coordinators will guide you and your family through treatment while supporting your choices, removing barriers to timely care, offering education, helping you make decisions and connecting you with appropriate support services.
Our breast care teams know that great care is the result of seamless communication between you and your existing healthcare providers. When you have this kind of collaboration, you can expect a more efficient, effective and tailored approach.
Breast Cancer Support Group
This group offers support for those affected by breast cancer, from newly diagnosed to survivor. It is facilitated by a St. Vincent Healthcare Breast Health Navigator. This group meets the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8pm in the Mansfield Health Education Center, 2900 12th Avenue N. For more information, please call 406-237-3115.
FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered)
This group is open to individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Please contact the Billings FORCE outreach coordinator at 406-656-2031 for more information about the group, including meeting times and dates.
Life beyond breast cancer
With earlier detection, more patients are surviving cancer than ever before. Our survivorship program gives you access to specialists who partner with you for your post-treatment. This program focuses on nutritional goals, healthy living and emotional well-being.
We’ll also help you set up regular medical checkups with your primary doctor to prevent, detect and manage any complications related to your cancer or cancer treatment.