Expert Breast Care at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance Breast Cancer Program

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance provides top quality breast cancer care, prevention, detection, education and support services in partnership with City of Hope.

We make sure to provide each patient and their loved ones with individualized and compassionate cancer care. Patients can be assured they are receiving exceptional medical care for the whole person—physical, emotional and spiritual.

2283.3 miles away

Expert Breast Care at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance Breast Cancer Program

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance provides top quality breast cancer care, prevention, detection, education and support services in partnership with City of Hope.

We make sure to provide each patient and their loved ones with individualized and compassionate cancer care. Patients can be assured they are receiving exceptional medical care for the whole person—physical, emotional and spiritual.

2283.3 miles away

Meet the Team

At Providence, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.

What you can expect from Little Company of Mary and the City of Hope Partnership
  • The same comprehensive, cutting edge services offered by major academic centers, provided in the community hospital you know and trust
  • A team of specialists in every aspect of breast care who collaborate across multiple locations to provide convenient, connected care close to your home or work
  • World-class treatment options, including the latest clinical trials 
  • Personal support, beyond treating the disease, that eases the ripple effects on your emotions and your life

Every woman is at risk for breast cancer. One in eight will develop the disease, and 85% of those who are diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer. This is why Providence Little Company of Mary encourages every woman to talk to her doctor, beginning at age 40, about when to start breast cancer screening through regular mammograms.

The benefits of early detection

Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. When breast cancer is found early, before it has spread beyond the breast, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent.

Regular screening can help detect breast cancer before you might notice any symptoms. Providence offers these lifesaving screenings in multiple locations throughout Southern California. Using the advanced imaging and diagnostic technologies listed below, Providence’s dedicated breast radiologists are able to discover small cancers in their earliest, most treatable stages. Throughout your screening visit, our emphasis is on your comfort, privacy and dignity.

Types of screening

Screening mammogram: This routine screening tool takes low-energy X-ray images of the breasts to look for early signs of cancer in women who aren’t having any symptoms. The goal of this procedure is to detect cancer as early as possible. Thanks to the increase in women who routinely get screening mammograms, more breast cancers today are being caught in the earliest, most treatable stages.

If you have a screening mammogram scheduled but you develop a symptom before your appointment, please let the technologist know before the start of your exam. Changes in your imaging study may be needed if you are experiencing symptoms.

Diagnostic mammogram: If you have a breast lump or other breast symptoms, or if a screening mammogram has revealed something unusual, your doctor may schedule a diagnostic mammogram. This is the same as a screening mammogram, except that the X-rays will focus specifically on the suspicious area, taking magnified images from several angles.

Diagnostic mammograms can help determine whether the area in question is normal or requires further testing. Fortunately, most painful breast lumps, as well as “calcifications” found on mammograms, are not cancer.

3D digital mammogram: In 3D mammography, also known as digital tomosynthesis, the procedure is similar to getting a standard 2D mammogram. The difference is that the X-ray takes more images and combines them to create a clearer, three-dimensional view of the breast. Studies have found that 3D mammograms identify more cancers, result in fewer false positives, and detect more cancers in patients with all levels of breast density and in all age groups. are more effective in women who are 65 and older.

Magnetic resonance imaging uses magnets and radio waves rather than X-rays, so it doesn’t involve any radiation. It takes longer than a mammogram — about 30-45 minutes — and may be used to more closely evaluate patients in special circumstances. These may include patients who:

  • Are at especially high risk for breast cancer
  • Have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Are at risk for recurrence after treatment
  • Have had abnormal findings on a mammogram or ultrasound
  • Have breast implants

Breast ultrasound: This imaging technique is often used after a mammogram to provide more information, such as whether a lump is solid (potential cancer) or filled with fluid (a cyst). During this painless procedure, a lubricating jelly is spread over the area to be evaluated, and a wand-like instrument is moved over the area, sending sound waves into the breast, which then reflect an image of the area onto a screen.

Automated breast ultrasound: Automated breast ultrasound is an automated machine that uses ultrasounds to look at breast tissue. As a screening tool, it is most useful in women who have dense breast tissue, done in conjunction with their screening mammogram. Dense breast tissue can sometimes make it hard to see subtle findings in a mammogram. This technique has been shown to be helpful as an additional screening tool since is allows for detection of small masses or lumps despite the density of the breast tissue.

Providence provides expertise in treating all types of breast cancer, including rare forms.

  • Ductal cancers start in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple.
  • Lobular cancers start in the glands, or “lobules,” that produce milk.
  • In situ indicates abnormal or cancerous cells that have not spread beyond the duct or gland.
  • Infiltrating or invasive cancers have spread into surrounding breast tissue.
  • Metastatic cancers have spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.

The cancers we treat include, but are not limited to:

  • Infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC): This is the most common type, making up 70-80% of all breast cancers. It begins in the lining of the milk ducts and then grows through the ducts into the nearby breast tissue. If not treated, it can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): This is a non- or pre-invasive cancer that is still confined to the milk ducts, but that may become invasive.
  • Infiltrating lobular carcinoma (ILC): Another common form of breast cancer, this type begins in the lining of the milk-producing glands and grows into the breast tissue. Without treatment, it can spread outside of the breast.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): These abnormal cells, confined to the milk glands, are not technically considered cancer and don’t typically become invasive. However, they do increase the risk of developing cancer in either breast in the future.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC): In this rare and very aggressive disease, cancer cells block the lymph vessels of the breast skin, causing inflammation, swelling, redness and thickening of the skin. This fast-spreading cancer can metastasize without quick treatment. About 1-5% of breast cancers are inflammatory.
  • Metastatic breast cancer (MBC): While breast cancers that have spread to other parts of the body can’t be cured, there are many treatments that can help keep them under control for years.

Your personalized treatment plan will depend on factors that are unique to you, from your specific diagnosis to your personal health and preferences. But one thing that most patients can count on is that it will take a team. And that’s where Little Company of Mary, in partnership with City of Hope, shines. 

Your team may include multiple experts who specialize in very specific aspects of treatment, as well as nurses, dietitians, counselors and others, all collaborating on your care. Collaboration is key, and we do it well. One way is through regular case review meetings, where members of your team, as well as Providence experts from outside your team, gather to review patient cases and to share clinical opinions, recommend treatments or symptom-management strategies, assess the need for genetic cancer risk assessment, suggest opportunities for clinical trials, and optimize care coordination.

Why Choose Us for Breast Cancer Care?

At Providence, we see the life in you. We know how important family celebrations and special occasions can be. Together let’s finish cancer so you don’t have to miss any of these moments.

No two patients, or their treatment plans, are alike. This is why, at Providence, we take a highly personalized approach to your breast cancer care. You’ll experience this in our multidisciplinary tumor boards, where your oncology team collaborates with other cancer care experts about your specific diagnosis. We also offer a Providence Molecular Tumor Board, where we evaluate your genomic and clinical information to find the best genetically matched treatment for you. Your oncology team will work with you directly to design a treatment plan that fits your personal needs. It’s an approach that combines leading-edge treatment with the compassionate care Providence is known for. Why? Because we know this results in the best outcomes.

As a patient, you’ll be supported through your entire cancer journey by our expert care team of breast cancer specialists. You’ll be treated by board-certified medical oncologists and radiologists. If surgery is required, our world-class breast and plastic surgeons use the most advanced techniques, such as breast-sparing and reconstructive surgery. It’s a team-based approach to breast cancer. Your cancer care team may include oncology nurse navigators, physical therapists and other cancer specialists. We also provide you and your family with a full range of support services well beyond conventional treatment – from prevention and education to nutrition and pain management.

Learn more about the experts who make up our multidisciplinary cancer care teams.

Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, but access to great breast cancer care hasn’t always been the same for everyone. At Providence, we are deeply committed to making sure every patient we treat has access to the best cancer care. We value, respect and support the racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual and spiritual identities of each member of our diverse communities,  and we welcome all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Instead, we work harder to make sure every patient is treated equally and with dignity – whoever you are, and wherever you're at. As part of that mission, we offer various location-specific services to help our patients receive equitable care, such as translation for non-English speaking patients, telehealth and transportation assistance.

As a patient at Providence, you have access to the largest community-based cancer network in the United States. Being part of a collaborative network means that your local breast cancer care team shares knowledge and experience with other world-class clinicians across 51 hospitals in seven states. The extent and power of our network is one of the reasons 10,000 breast cancer patients and 50,000 cancer patients choose Providence each year.

Providence is well-known for offering options – and hope – to patients seeking the most advanced procedures and therapies for breast cancer. For instance, research teams within the Providence network have developed a one-of-a-kind breast cancer database containing details on thousands of breast cancer cases. The valuable information in this database is contributing to groundbreaking research into the evolution of breast cancer that may transform breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As a patient, you have the opportunity to participate in or benefit from one of over 120 clinical trials happening across the Providence network for breast cancer treatment.

The Power of Our Network

Part of the Providence Cancer Institute in Los Angeles

Our patients are the center of everything we do:

  • Our unique patient navigator program offers navigators specific to each cancer type to assist you throughout your cancer journey.
  • Our beautiful, modern hospitals are equipped with the latest technologies.
  • We also offer robust research labs not found in local, community-focused hospitals.

Learn more about the Providence Cancer Institute in Los Angeles

Doctor sitting with patient
Senior woman looking hopeful as she gazes out window

Find Clinical Trials

Are you looking for a clinical trial for yourself or for a patient? We’d love to help you find one!