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Understanding breast cancer

One in eight women will have breast cancer during her lifetime, and 85% of these cases occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. As a highly prevalent yet highly treatable cancer, preventive screenings and advanced breast health care are a vital part of women’s health. 

St. Luke’s Health offers a comfortable, convenient setting for breast care, and our clinical and academic partnerships provide our patients with access to some of the most advanced oncology research and treatments available.

Types of breast cancer we treat 

  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer 
  • HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer
  • Estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer 
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

Breast cancer risk factors

Because breast cancer occurs in about one in every eight women, it’s important to receive regular screenings based on your age. If you are at higher risk for this condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings. Some risk factors include:

  • A family history of breast cancer
  • A personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • A personal history of benign tumors and tissue removal
  • Mutations in breast cancer gene 1 or breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA 1 and BRCA 2)
  • Menstruation earlier than age 12
  • Giving birth to a first child after age 30, or being childless
  • Beginning menopause after age 55
  • Age; most cases occur in women or men over 50 years old
  • Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage daily
  • Being overweight, particularly after menopause
  • Taking birth control pills for more than four years before a first, full-term pregnancy
  • Using postmenopausal hormone therapy
  • Exposure to occupational radiation


Breast cancer symptoms

It’s important to be aware of the normal state of your breasts so that you can notice any potential changes. Monthly self-exams and yearly clinical exams are good ways to note any abnormalities that could be signs of breast cancer. Symptoms can include:

  • Breast size or shape changes
  • Skin dimpling or puckering
  • Lumps, hard knots, or thickening inside the breast or underarm
  • Breast swelling, redness or darkening, or warmth
  • An itchy nipple sore or rash
  • Sudden nipple discharge
  • Breast or nipple inversion or retraction
  • New, persistent pain in one area


If you experience any of these symptoms suddenly or would like to assess your personal breast cancer risk, talk to your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician.

Breast cancer screenings and diagnosis

More than 180,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year. However, 98% of breast cancers are survivable with early detection. Monthly self-exams and regular diagnostic examinations are an important part of preventive breast health care. When you or your doctor detect an abnormality from these exams, St. Luke’s Health’s network of imaging centers use the latest digital technology to provide screening and diagnostic imaging services in a caring environment.    

Our screening and diagnostic imaging services include:


The board-certified, dedicated breast radiologists at St. Luke’s Health are specialty-trained and committed to accurate diagnosis and the highest standard of patient safety and care. All of our breast imaging technologists are registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and credentialed by the State of Texas. 

Schedule your mammogram 

Whether you need a screening or a diagnostic mammogram, our radiologists are here to help. Choose a location from the list to get started. 

Breast cancer treatment and surgery

The physicians at St. Luke’s Health, including breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, and radiation oncologists, provide advanced, multidisciplinary care to our patients. We use a compassionate, collaborative approach to create a personalized treatment plan.

Some of the treatments and procedures we provide include:


Your doctor, along with our multidisciplinary team of oncologic experts, will discuss what options are best suited for you and your diagnosis.

Breast cancer locations near me

Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center - Houston, TX

Cancer Center at St. Luke's Health - Brazosport Hospital - Lake Jackson, TX

Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Woodlands Hospital

Temple Cancer Center - St. Luke's Health Memorial Lufkin - Lufkin, TX

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U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.