Breast Cancer Treatment

At OHSU’s breast cancer clinic, our nurse navigators guide you through treatment so you can focus on getting better. Our expert doctors and nurses also understand that every breast cancer patient is different. We tailor treatments to your specific needs and wishes.

Our compassionate, state-of-the-art care includes:

Complete care

Having a full team of expert providers is especially important for a disease as complex as breast cancer. Many patients need care from several doctors, such as surgery from a surgical oncologist, radiation from a radiation oncologist and chemotherapy from a medical oncologist. Our approach provides seamless care with an emphasis on your preferences.

Nurse navigators

Nurse navigators will guide you through diagnosis and treatment. The navigators will:

  • Answer your questions.
  • Explain your diagnosis.
  • Arrange your appointments.
  • Explain your pathology report, receptor status and surgery report.
  • Discuss your treatment options and other details.
  • Let you know about any clinical trials that could help you.

Doctors work as a team

Our doctors work closely together. On clinic days, they confer face to face at a morning conference and throughout the day.

Our surgical oncologists and plastic surgeons also work as partners, often combining cancer and reconstruction procedures into one surgery.

Genomic analysis

In some cases, we offer access to genomic testing to help guide your decisions about treatment. For certain early-stage tumors, for example, genomic testing can indicate whether chemotherapy will be useful or not.

Complementary medicine

We'll care for you as a whole person, not just a cancer patient. Our services include acupuncturenaturopathic caretraditional Chinese medicine and dietitians with cancer expertise.


All your care can be arranged at our South Waterfront campus. For your convenience, we also offer some services at community clinics. Our nurse navigator will coordinate all your appointments.

First steps

We strive to make your care as stress-free as possible. We welcome patients to our clinic, and we’re happy to provide a second opinion. Here are the first steps after you call or are referred to our clinic.

One of our nurse navigators will talk with you on the phone to go over your condition and next steps. If you've just been diagnosed, they’ll explain your pathology report and determine whether you need more imaging or genetic testing. They’ll coordinate your appointments with our team.

Before your appointment, our breast cancer team holds a meeting to discuss your case. This meeting is known as a tumor board. The tumor board includes two dozen experts on breast cancer. They come from a range of fields, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, genetics and cell biology.

These experts look at your scans and pathology results together and discuss the best course of treatment for you. They may also suggest that you take part in a clinical trial if they think it would help you. They will help you chart a clear path forward.

At your appointment, you’ll meet with the specialists you may need. Patients usually have one exam room, and doctors come to them. 


At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, we know that every patient is unique. We tailor your treatment to fit your needs. Some patients might get chemotherapy before surgery, while others might get surgery first. We’ll make a plan that offers you the best possible outcome.

Our expert surgeons perform lumpectomy, mastectomy and lymph node surgery. We also offer oncoplastic lumpectomy, which combines cancer removal with reconstruction surgery. When possible, we also offer nipple- and skin-sparing mastectomies for natural-looking reconstructions. Read more about breast cancer surgery and breast reconstruction at the Knight Cancer Institute.

Our expert medical oncologists treat breast cancer with the latest therapies, such as:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy

In some cases, we also offer access to genomic testing — analysis to reveal your cancer's traits at the molecular level — to guide your decisions about treatment.

Read more about how we use medications to treat breast cancer.

We offer the latest technology. We follow protocols to limit radiation to the heart, lessening the risk of side effects. For some patients, we can also offer partial breast radiation therapy or a shorter course of radiation therapy.

We offer every option, including sophisticated reconstruction techniques using a patient's own tissue for strikingly natural-looking results. Reconstruction can often be combined with breast reduction or augmentation. 

As one of the nation's top research centers, we participate in many clinical trials for breast cancer. Trials can offer you access to new and promising therapies.

Learn more about clinical trials at the Knight Cancer Institute.

For patients

Call 503-494-4673 to:

  • Make an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask questions


OHSU Breast Center, South Waterfront

Center for Health & Healing, Building 2, ninth floor
3485 S. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239

Free parking for patients and visitors

Refer a patient

Cancer clinical trials

Clinical trials allow patients to try a new test or treatment.

Read more

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News: Read about research breakthroughs, patient care and many other topics on our OHSU News site.