For the woman affected by it, a diagnosis of breast cancer brings with it a whole range of emotions: fear, despair, despondency, helplessness or powerlessness. Any or all of these reactions are absolutely normal, and indeed even necessary in order for her to begin to accept the diagnosis and prepare to fight the disease. Although breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, it is not the most dangerous. With targeted and therefore usually less stressful methods, treating a breast tumour is far more successful today than it was even just a few years ago – and especially if the cancer is detected at an early stage.
Dealing with the disease not only requires the woman to be strong, but also demands tremendous courage and trust in the doctors who are providing her treatment. At the Women's Health Center Cologne, we do everything we can to make sure patients feel they are in good hands, and we work hard to find the best possible course of treatment for every single patient as the individual she is.
High on therapy benefits – low on side effects
At the University Clinic of Cologne, all forms of cancer are treated holistically and comprehensively. Our bundled expertise enables us to provide excellent treatment – even in cases where the cancer is well advanced. At the Women's Health Center Cologne, a gynaecologist who specialises in the treatment of breast cancer is responsible for the treatment.
At the University Clinic of Cologne, we offer the latest forms of drug tumour therapy and the full range of breast-conserving surgeries. Intraoperative radiation is a treatment option that is particularly gentle on the breast and tissue. Once the tumour has been removed, the surrounding tissue can be given targeted radiotherapy during the operation. This can greatly reduce the overall period for radiotherapy.
We offer patients who want to have children but who face the risk of infertility following planned radiation or chemotherapy the option of cryopreservation – of freezing egg cells and ovarian tissue. This method was developed at the University Clinic of Cologne.
An interdisciplinary team of scientists in the fields of gynaecology, radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy is working constantly on building a bridge between the excellent research activities and direct patient benefits.
For instance, as part of the German Consortium for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer, researchers at the University Clinic of Cologne have discovered a third risky gene that is responsible for the development of hereditary breast cancer. Using new techniques, one of the focuses of this research is on identifying other breast cancer genes in order to define the individual risk of breast cancer with even greater precision. The further development of individualised and targeted breast cancer treatment is an important scientific focus at our hospital.
The University Clinic of Cologne also sets standards in the field of breast-conserving surgical procedures: a new concept combines drug treatments and new tailored substances with innovative surgical methods. This facilitates breast-conserving treatments without the need for extensive plastic surgery.
- 3D and 4D ultrasound with modern high-end ultrasound equipment
- Digital mammography
- Magnetic resonance imaging with latest-generation MRI equipment
- Tissue removal (biopsy) and histological examination
- Protease analysis
- Molecular genetics and diagnostics to assess the risk of hereditary breast cancer
- Breast-conserving surgery (oncoplastic breast surgery) with sentinel lymph node diagnosis
- Intraoperative radiation therapy
- Redo surgery on breast, chest wall or armpit
- All surgical procedures for the reconstruction of the breast (implants, patient's own tissue) including nipple reconstruction
- Tumour therapy by medication: antibody, chemotherapy, hormone therapy