​Overview of the Breast Health Clinic  

Our Breast Health Clinic at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi gives you access to breast care services in one location. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists offers breast imaging, breast surgery, breast medical oncology, and reconstruction, as well as cutting-edge therapeutic and surgical breast cancer treatments.

We work collaboratively to promote breast health awareness and breast cancer prevention, as well screening, diagnosis and treatment for women with both breast cancer and benign (non-cancerous) breast diseases. ​

Cleveland C​linic Abu Dhabi's Breast Health Clinic is designated as an authorized breast cancer screening and diagnosis center by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi.

What is breast cancer?

The cells in our body follow a natural process of dividing to reproduce when new cells are needed. If cells in the breast tissue, glands or ducts start to reproduce out of control, this can form a tumor and result in breast cancer. If these cells are normal, the tumor is called benign (non-cancerous), however, if the cells are abnormal, the tumor is known as malignant (cancerous).

Like other cancers, breast cancer can grow into tissue surrounding the breast, and can spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis.​

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women both globally and locally, with aging being the most common risk factor for developing the disease.

While there is not a specific cause of breast cancer, there are a number of controllable and non-controllable risk factors which can affect the likeliness of developing it:

Risk factors you can control:

  • Your weight and physical activity: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for breast cancer so it’s important to eat healthily and take regular exercise. 
  • Breastfeeding: Studies show that breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of developing the disease.
  • Certain oral contraceptives: Some birth control pills have been linked with increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Reproductive history: Having your first pregnancy after the age of 30, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise the risk of breast cancer.​
  • Drinking alcohol: Studies show that a woman’s risk increases with the more alcohol she drinks.

Risk factors you can’t control:

  • Being a woman: Although men can get breast cancer, it is much more common in women.
  • Breast density: Your risk of breast cancer is higher if you have dense breasts. It can also make it harder to see tumors during mammograms.
  • Getting older: Aging is a factor, breast cancer can occur at any age but is more common in women as they get older.
  • Reproductive factors: These include starting your period before age 12 or entering menopause after age 55.
  • Exposure to radiation: Patients with a history of prior chest irradiation are at increased risk for breast cancer.
  • Family history: A family history of breast or ovarian cancer or other types of cancer may elevate the risk of breast cancer. Patients with a family history of cancer may be candidates for genetic testing.
  • Genetic mutations: Women with inherited changes to certain genes including BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Having already had breast cancer: The risk is higher for you if you have already had breast cancer and/or certain types of benign breast conditions such as lobular carcinoma in situ, ductal carcinoma in situ, or atypical hyperplasia.

Women at high risk should have more regular screenings to detect any anomalies early.​

What We Treat

  • Axillary metastasis of breast cancer
  • Breast angiosarcoma
  • Breast cancer​​
  • Breast infection​
  • Breast pain
  • Breast reconstruction using tissue
  • Breast reconstruction with implant
  • Breast redness
  • Breast swelling
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma​
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Nipple discharge
  • Paget’s disease of the breast​
  • Patients at high risk for breast cancer
  • Patients with family history of breast cancer​
  • Recurrent breast cancer​​​

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Early diagnosis offers the best chance of successful treatment of breast cancer, so getting screened (having a mammography) is the first line of defense. The Department of Health recommends that women should get mammogram screening every 2 years from the age of 40, or earlier if breast cancer runs in the family.

Our diagnostic services include:

  • Digital mammography: A digital X-ray image of the breast allowing radiologist to zoom and adjust the size, brightness and contrast to detect abnormalities more easily.
  • Tomosynthesis or 3D Mammography: A mammogram that combines multiple X-rays to create a 3D image of the breast, it’s used for screening women who aren’t showing signs of symptoms of disease.
  • Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): This imaging test uses a contrast dye to highlight different tissue structures of the breast. A scan is conducted which captures many images of the breast using magnets and radio waves to give a detailed, cross-sectional view of the breast tissue.
  • Breast ultrasound: A small, hand-held instrument called a transducer is placed against the skin. The device emits sound waves that bounce off body tissues and are converted into a digital image to detect anomalies.
  • Breast CAD (computer-aided detection): This is used along with either film or digital mammograms. The image is analyzed by a computer to provide radiologists with an image highlighting any suspicious areas that should be investigated further.
  • Minimally invasive diagnostic breast biopsies: Often performed by a radiologist or surgeon who uses computerized imaging to guide him or her in taking small tissue samples using a sterilized needle.
  • Stereotactic vacuum-assisted biopsy: A minimally invasive diagnostic technique in which a doctor uses a vacuum probe inserted into a small incision to take small tissue samples guided by mammogram images.
  • Ultrasound-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy: A minimally invasive diagnostic technique in which a doctor uses a vacuum probe inserted into a small incision to take small tissue samples guided by ultrasound images.
  • MRI guided core biopsy: A minimally invasive diagnostic technique in which a radiologist uses a vacuum probe inserted into a small incision to take small tissue samples guided by magnetic resonance images of the breast.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy: Removal of one or a few of the lymph nodes under the arm. If they are cancerous, the patient may then need to have all of the lymph nodes removed, this is called an axillary lymph node dissection.​

Treatment of Breast Cancer

We offer a range of options to treat breast cancer and our breast care specialists will help to determine the best treatment plan based on type of breast cancer, size and location of the tumor, disease stage, lab test results, and the individual’s overall health.

These treatments can include:

  • Chemothe​rapy
  • HER-2 Targeted therapy
  • Hormone therapy for breast cancer prevention
  • Hormone therapy for breast cancer treatment
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy before surgery)
  • Surgery

Breast cancer treatments are local or systemic, and patients may have just one form of treatment or a combination. Local treatments include surgery and radiation, which are used to remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a specific area. Systemic treatments include chemotherapy , targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy, which are used to destroy or control cancer cells throughout the body. 

For patients who need radiation therapy, our partner centers in the area are able to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date care. ​

Breast Health Clinic Caregivers

  • Breast oncologists 
  • Breast Surgeons
  • Reconstructive surgeons
  • Breast radiologists
  • Clinic nurses
  • Genetic counselors

Who can help you with breast health?

Stephen R. Grobmyer, Institute Chair, Oncology Institute​

Dr. Stephen R. Grobmyer, MD, is the Institute Chair of the Oncology Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Grobmyer was Professor of Surgery, Section Head of Breast Surgery and Co-Director of the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in Cleveland...
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