World-Class Pathology for Breast Cancer

Request an Appointment
For more information call 215-728-3001 to reach the
Women's Cancer Center
Resources and Education for Patients and their families

The Resource and Education Center

Cancer Questions?
Call 215-214-1618
or send a secure e-mail.
Connect with a cancer education specialist for answers to your
cancer-related questions.
Learn what the REC has to offer ยป

Find a Clinical Trial

Find a Clinical Trial

Benefit from new cancer treatments
Read more »

Expert Pathologists Ensure An Accurate Diagnosis

The pathologist who looks at your tissue is a vital member of your breast cancer treatment team. Pathologists are doctors who identify disease by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.

Our world-class pathology department, led by Arthur S Patchefsky, MD, ensures accurate breast cancer diagnosis and staging. Your treatment plan at Fox Chase is developed based on this expert diagnosis.

Tumor Profiling

Pathologists who specialize in breast cancer assist oncologists by "personalizing medicine" through tumor profiling. Because each tumor is unique, pathologists evaluate the characteristics of each tumor. The physician uses that information (histological sub type of cancer--ductal carcinoma or inflammatory breast cancer; grade; estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), HER 2-neu) to determine the best course of treatment for each patient.

  • ER and PR are characteristics of breast tumors that are fueled by the body's hormones (estrogen or progesterone).

  • HER-2 stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. HER-2 is a gene that helps control how cells grow, divide and repair themselves.

Your cancer therapy is tailored based on your hormone status.

Estrogen and progesterone receptor test: Measures the amount of estrogen and progesterone in the cancer tissue. If cancer is found in the breast, tissue from the tumor is examined to learn whether estrogen and progesterone could affect the way cancer grows. Based on the results, doctors may prescribe hormonal therapy to stop the breast cancer from progressing.

Other molecular tests are performed using Oncotype DX™ to determine the benefit of systemic therapy on each patient. Oncotype DX is a clinically validated laboratory test that predicts the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence (return after treatment) in women with newly diagnosed, early stage invasive breast cancer. If there is a likelihood that cancer will recur, additional therapy may be recommended.

Second Opinions

Our pathologists have more experience reviewing breast cancer slides than anyone else in the region. Therefore, if you need a second opinion of your diagnosis, you can trust Fox Chase to make an accurate diagnosis. This helps determine the best treatment options for you.

Treatment Considerations

Fox Chase physicians consider many factors before making breast cancer treatment recommendations. These include:

  • Stage of the cancer
  • Type of breast cancer
  • Estrogen-receptor (ER) and progesterone-receptor (PR) levels in the tumor tissue
  • A woman's age, general health and menopausal status
  • Whether the cancer is newly diagnosed or has recurred

For more information about breast cancer treatment and prevention at Fox Chase Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-888-FOX CHASE (1-888-369-2427). The breast cancer scheduling department can be reached at 215-728-3001.

More on Diagnosis