Chemotherapy Breast Cancer Treatment Offered in Baltimore


Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances that work to kill fast-growing and reproducing cells, a characteristic common to cancer cells.

Chemotherapy may be used as a treatment option for breast cancer, either before or after breast surgery. The breast surgeons of The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy in Baltimore work in close collaboration with Mercy’s medical oncologists to provide a comprehensive treatment plan, uniquely targeted to address each woman’s care.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that are injected into the body, placed directly into the body or taken by mouth to stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be used to kill cancer cells or immobilize them by stopping them from dividing.

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How is Chemotherapy typically used in the treatment of breast cancer?

Chemotherapy can be used to treat all stages of breast cancer. The decision to treat with chemotherapy is usually affected by the patient's age, overall condition and personal preference. The type and stage of the breast cancer also affects this decision.  For example, patients who have hormone negative receptor tumors would be more likely to benefit from chemotherapy.

For breast cancer treatment chemotherapy is usually given before radiation, however, it can be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant). Mercy’s breast surgeons collaborate closely with the doctors of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy to decide whether a patient is a candidate for adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This decision is often influenced by the size of the tumor, the size of the breast and the desire for breast conservation treatment.

Chemotherapy can also be used to treat widespread or metastatic breast cancer. The treatment is usually not curative, but can prolong survival for some patients.

Chemotherapy can be used in combination with targeted therapy or before hormonal therapy. There are tests available, such as Oncotype Dx that can sometimes be used to define the patient's risk of relapse. These tests can be discussed with your medical oncologist and can help determine the type and sequence of treatments for each patient.

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What are the advantages to receiving Chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer at Mercy?

At Mercy patients depend on the renowned breast surgeons of The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy, who are part of a multidisciplinary cancer program at Mercy. Our cancer doctors are dedicated to a team approach to developing a treatment plan for breast cancer patients. Our medical oncologists closely review your individual situation and involve you in selecting the best treatment options. Our beautiful Outpatient Chemotherapy area includes friendly staff, comfortable chairs and a soothing setting for care with floor-to-ceiling windows providing patients with views of Baltimore and plenty of natural light.

Meet Our Doctors: Breast Center
The Breast Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Jennifer Joh, M.D.

A 2020 TOP DOC
Dr. Jennifer Joh is a dedicated breast cancer surgeon at The Hoffberger Breast Center. She works with Mercy’s plastic surgeons to offer breast reconstruction procedures following breast cancer surgery.

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