Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, affecting 1 in 8 women during their lives. It is also the second most common cause of cancer death in women. Men can also develop breast cancer, although these cases are very small in number compared to women.

Many women are understandably concerned about developing breast cancer, which is why preventive measures such as routine breast exams and mammograms have become commonplace.

There are several factors which raise the risk of breast cancer, including:

• Being overweight
• Prior use of hormone-based contraceptives
• Age (increased risk as a woman gets older)
• Menses starting before age 12
• Menopause after age 55
• Not having children
• Having dense breasts
• Family history of breast cancer, especially if in first-degree relatives (mom or sister)

Many breast cancers are first discovered when a lump is detected on an exam or on imaging. However, other signs such as nipple discharge, change in breast size, and breast tenderness can also signal breast cancer.

A biopsy is used to determine the presence of cancer, as well as the specific type of cancer. Breast cancers typically fall under one of several types, including:

• Lobular carcinoma, involving the lobules of the breast. The lobules are where breast milk is produced. When the cancer extends beyond the lobules, it is termed invasive.
• Ductal carcinoma, involving the milk ducts. The ducts transport breast milk from the lobules to the nipple. This is the most common type of breast cancer, and is either termed in situ (contained within the duct) or invasive (extending beyond the ducts).
• Sarcoma, involving the connective tissue of the breast. This includes muscle, blood vessels, and fat.

As with most cancers, breast cancer has a better prognosis when caught early. The conventional standard of care for breast cancer typically involves some combination of:

• Surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy)
• Chemotherapy (using one or several drugs in combination)
• Radiation

Cancer cells are given a grade based on their appearance under a microscope, with grade 1 being most similar to normal cells (and thus least aggressive) and grade 3 being the most dissimilar (and thus the most aggressive). The hormonal status of the cancer is also determined to see if estrogen and progesterone fuel the growth of the cancer. The HER2 gene can also be evaluated, and if over-expressed, tells us more about the cancer’s behavior. These specific characteristics are used to guide treatment.

Additional testing to evaluate for spread of cancer is also frequently undertaken. This can include lymph node biopsies to see if the cancer has spread to the lymphatic system, as well as imaging such as a PET scan to look for spread to more distant locations in the body.

In integrative oncology, we do not stop there. Rather than merely looking at the cancer in isolation, and treating each patient with the same diagnosis the same way, we also consider many other patient factors, including:

• Previous medical history
• Chronic medical problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and digestive issues
• Diet and nutritional status
• Activity level and mobility
• Environmental exposures in the home and at work
• Sources of stress
• Support system, including family and friends
• Treatment goals

Once we account for these variables, each cancer case becomes as unique as a fingerprint. Dr. Stegall reviews your case very carefully, and after thorough discussion with you, a specific treatment plan is generated. Once the roadmap is created, we have many tools at our disposal. These tools include advanced testing as well as innovative therapies that are on the cutting edge of science. The tools chosen for your specific case are personalized to you. This patient-centered approach is essential for proper cancer treatment.

Patient Feedback

Staff are awesome

Dr. Stegall and his staff are awesome.

Kim, FL

Caring and compassionate

The staff is very caring and compassionate.

 Julie, SC

This is the place to be

If you have cancer, this is the place to be. I call it the ‘cancer spa.’

Kim, FL

Kind, compassionate, and very caring

I have found Dr. Stegall and his staff to be knowledgeable, kind, compassionate, and very caring.

Teresa, TN

Would highly recommend Dr. Stegall

I am very pleased with my experience and would highly recommend Dr. Stegall to anyone looking for an integrative oncologist.

Teresa, TN

Has given me hope

Not only have I received wonderful care, but I’ve been educated on how to take care of myself, which has given me hope. I truly believe I will beat this!

Denise, OH

Outstanding support

Dr. Stegall provides outstanding support on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Ann, GA

Communicates well

The entire staff communicates well together and with patients regarding treatment.

Teresa, TN

Knowledgeable and careful

Dr. Stegall is very knowledgeable and careful with treatments.

 Julie, SC

Second to none

The staff here is second to none. They have become my family!

Denise, OH

Wonderful care

I have received the most wonderful care from Dr. Stegall!

Denise, OH

Calmed my fears

Dr. Stegall and his staff calmed my fears and encouraged me each day.

Denise, OH

The most caring physician

Dr. Stegall is the most caring physician.

Denise, OH

One on one care

The IPT therapy is very individualized and patients receive one on one care during each session.

Teresa, TN

Such care and respect

I’ve never been to an office where the patients are treated with such care and respect by both the staff and doctor.

Sandy, GA

I saw patients getting better and better

As the days went by, I saw patients getting better and better, and at the end of their treatment they looked like completely healthy patients.

Sandy, GA

Customized and personalized

Dr. Stegall’s treatments are customized and personalized. He is caring and concerned about all the issues going on with your body.

Kim, FL

Highly recommended

I highly recommend this center for your cancer treatment.

Sandy, GA

Quality care

I have never, in my life, received this quality of care anywhere!

Denise, OH