Medical Therapy for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer medical oncologists use anti-cancer therapies with the ability to kill breast cancer cells in the breast and elsewhere in the body.  Here at the OHSU Knight cancer Institute, our breast medical oncologists are board certified and work with your entire care team to make sure you have access to the most effective treatments and the option to participate in clinical trials.

The treatments we offer may be given alone, or may be combined with surgery, radiation or other treatments.

Treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy:  powerful medications that can kill cancer cells.
  • Endocrine (hormone) therapy:  drugs that affect estrogen levels and estrogen signaling. This can be important in fighting the growth and spread of some breast cancers.
  • Targeted biologic agents: substances that affect cancer cell survival, drug resistance and how cancer cells grow.
  • New treatments that are part of a clinical trial (research study).

Medical oncologists treat cancer with drugs and treatments other than surgery and radiation. Your medical oncologist will design an appropriate treatment plan for you. This treatment may include chemotherapy or other treatments, such as targeted biologic agents,  which are designed to destroy cancer cells without harming your healthy tissue.

At our breast cancer clinic, we will design an individual treatment plan based on your cancer. This may include:

  • Chemotherapy before or after surgery or radiation treatment
  • Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiation
  • Chemotherapy or targeted therapy (biologics) alone
  • Clinical trial of a new anti-cancer drug or other treatment

Your medical oncologists will work with other members of your multidisciplinary care team to support you and help you reach your treatment goals. Support may include:

Your medical oncologist  also works closely with other members of our breast cancer team, including surgeons and radiation specialists.