Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Surgery

Breast cancer is a common and serious disease affecting up to 12 percent of women. While receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, early detection and prompt treatment can make a big difference. At Cayman Islands Surgery Center, we offer cutting-edge screening methods and have a multidisciplinary team experienced in treating most forms of breast cancer. We understand the importance of taking a personalized approach with our patients concerned about or diagnosed with breast cancer.

About Breast Cancer

The term “cancer” refers to a category of diseases in which cells start to grow out of control. Breast cancer develops from cells found only in breast tissue.

The first clinical sign of breast cancer is usually a palpable lump in the breast. By that time a lot of breast cancers are almost as large as grape. That's why screening and early detection are so important. However most palpable new lumps are not cancerous, but it is always a good idea to have a medical professional evaluate any recent changes in the feel and appearance of your breasts to rule out cancer.

Other signs of breast cancer to watch for include:

  • Swelling in all or parts of the breast
  • Dimpled skin (orange peel appearance or an indentation)
  • Other changes in breast or nipple skin
  • Nipple inversion
  • Spontaneous nipple discharge
  • Swollen lymph nodes near the breast

These symptoms can vary depending on location, size and type of breast cancer.

How Do You Treat Breast Cancer?

Most breast cancers start in milk ducts, tubes that carry milk to the nipple, while other forms of breast cancer begin in lobules (milk-producing glands). Breast cancer can also be classified in stages depending on whether it is localized or has spread to other parts of the body. While there is no one cause of breast cancer, there are known risk factors:

  • Being female
  • Being 55 and older
  • Having a family history
  • Inherited gene mutations (eg. BRCA1 and BRCA2)
  • A previous breast cancer diagnosis or precancerous biopsy
  • Radiation in the upper body
  • Early menarche (younger than 12)
  • Late menopause (older than 55)
  • Never having given birth
  • First birth after age 30
  • Dense breast tissue

Most breast cancers start in milk ducts, tubes that carry milk to the nipple, while other forms of breast cancer begin in lobules (milk-producing glands). Breast cancer can also be classified in stages depending on whether it is localized or has spread to other parts of the body. While there is no one cause of breast cancer, there are known risk factors:

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

At Cayman Islands Surgery Center, we perform some exams in house and also may refer you to several diagnostic procedures to rule out or confirm breast cancer. These procedures include physical examination, mammogram testing, MRI scans, ultrasound scans and biopsies.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, we may perform other tests and procedures to determine the stage of your cancer and whether or not it has spread. Knowing the stage of your breast cancer helps our doctor come up with an individualized treatment plan that improves your outcomes while minimizing complications.

Treating Breast Cancer

If you were diagnosed with breast cancer or received cancer treatment outside the Cayman Islands, you may be worried about what switching to a different health care provider could mean for you. We aim to make your transition to a new setting as smooth and prompt as possible. Keeping copies of your medical records can help our team prevent delays in treatment.


Mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast. A double mastectomy refers to the removal of both breasts. These procedures are recommended to patients who have large tumors, whose cancer has spread throughout the entire breast or who have gene mutations that put them at risk of future breast cancer. This surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis, however patients usually prefer to stay one night. And when undergoing a double mastectomy you are advised to stay in the hospital for an additional day following their procedure. Mastectomy is performed under general anesthesia with neuromuscular blocking agents. During a mastectomy, Dr. Ebanks makes an incision around the breast, which is completely removed. Lymph nodes may also be removed for further testing.


Also called breast-conserving surgery, the goal of a lumpectomy is to remove only the tumor either to cure or to diagnose breast cancer. It is ideal for early-stage breast cancer. With this surgical procedure, Dr. Ebanks removes the cancerous tumor and a margin of tissue around it. The tumor and the margins are then closely examined under a microscope by a pathologist. We normally perform lumpectomies on an outpatient basis. We may perform it under regional or general anesthesia, and the procedure usually takes no longer than an hour. Most patients undergo radiation treatment after a lumpectomy to kill any leftover cancer cells and keep the cancer from recurring.

Sentinel node biopsy

To see if the cancer is localized or has spread, Dr. Ebanks can perform a sentinel node biopsy. Sentinel nodes are simply the first lymph nodes through which cancer may spread. A dye is injected into the breast to look for these nodes, which are then removed to look for cancer cells. Besides surgery, some patients may need to undergo radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal treatment or breast reconstruction surgery, and other procedures available at our office and through our network of referrals.

Make an Appointment

If you are worried that you may have breast cancer or you have been diagnosed already, make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Tanja Ebanks at Cayman Islands Surgery Center. Dr. Tanja specializes in breast cancer surgery and has years of experience providing treatment to women diagnosed with breast cancer. She will carefully assess your condition and find the best treatment options for your case. To learn more, call Dr. Ebanks today at +1 345 946 0067. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a staff member call you at a more convenient time. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at

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Breast Cancer Treatment

Who should I contact if I suspect breast cancer?

You can call our clinic directly and make an appointment with Dr. Ebanks. Your general practitioner can also help you get access to diagnostic procedures if you’re worried about breast cancer. A family doctor or a gynecologist are usually the first to perform an initial examination. But you can contact any clinic or hospital that offers breast cancer diagnoses and treatment.

How quickly do I need to make a decision about my treatment?

Breast cancer treatment is ideally performed sooner rather than later, but waiting for a month or two before undergoing the first treatment may give you and your team time to create a carefully curated plan that can work for your case.

What about working during breast cancer treatment?

Most women can work while being treated for breast cancer. Our team will be happy to adjust your treatment schedule around your work. However, it is highly recommended to take time off work as needed, since you are encouraged to take some time for yourself, rest and sleep enough during your cancer treatment.

How do I prepare for breast cancer treatment?

Usually you will need to take at least a two-week leave after your breast cancer surgery. If you need to undergo chemotherapy, be prepared for uncomfortable side effects, like nausea fatigue and hair loss. You may choose to meet with a fertility specialist to discuss your options since chemotherapy can impact fertility.

What are the potential side effects of breast cancer surgery?

A lumpectomy usually leaves scar tissue and slight changes in breast shape and size. It may also be accompanied by unusual sensations, pain and bleeding. A mastectomy may lead to seromas, bruising, pain, trouble with arm movement, swelling of the arm and more. We make sure to minimize your risks of side effects and address any issues during your treatment and follow-up.

What is breast reconstruction?

At Cayman Islands Surgery Center, Dr. Ebanks teams up with plastic surgeons who also perform immediate or delayed breast reconstructive surgery, which is a type of plastic surgery to restore the appearance of the breasts following a mastectomy.

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