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Breast Cancer: Home

What Is Breast Cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which cells become abnormal and form more cells in an uncontrolled way. With breast cancer, the cancer begins in the tissues that make up the breasts. The cancer cells may form a mass called a tumor. (Note: Not all tumors are cancer.) They may also invade nearby tissue and spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body. The most common types of breast cancer are:

  • Ductal carcinoma – Cancer that begins in the ducts and grows into surrounding tissues. About 8 in 10 breast cancers are this type.
  • Lobular carcinoma – Cancer that begins in lobules and grows into surrounding tissues. About 1 in 10 breast cancers are this type.

Treatment for breast cancer depends on a number of factors and often involves more than one approach. The stage of the cancer, the tumor size, the type of breast cancer, whether or not you have reached menopause, and your overall health will determine what treatment you receive.

Source: - Breast Cancer

Helpful Websites

Breast Cancer Support Group

Breast Cancer - Beginning the Journey to Wellness

This group provides a safe place for those living with breast cancer to exchange information and provide mutual support. Tools to manage life more effectively during and after breast cancer treatment will be introduced.

Date and Time
2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
For upcoming dates and times, check the Cancer Center calendar.

4151 Foothill Road, Building A - First Floor Conference Room.
Parking is available on the property.

This program is offered free-of-charge. All support groups are facilitated by professional staff. For more information, please call Adele Fergusson at (805) 886-8148.

Look Good Feel Better by the American Cancer Society

Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite, and strength. But it doesn't have to take away her self-confidence. Come and receive free instruction on coping with the appearance-related side effects of your treatment. A licensed beauty professional will teach makeup, skin care tips, and suggestions for using wigs and head wear. A complimentary makeup kit will be provided to participants.

Date and Time
Check the Cancer Center calendar for upcoming dates and times.

540 West Pueblo Street, 2nd floor Meeting Room
Free parking is available on the property.

Registration is required. Call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to register. Offered free-of-charge to people currently in active cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, biologic). Participants are welcome to bring a friend or caregiver however the complementary kits will only be available to those in active treatment.

Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliance

The Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliance is a collaborative group of breast care experts who work together seamlessly to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for those with breast health concerns.

Our team approach has been designed with our patients in mind, providing expert specialty care from a highly qualified group of physicians, and additional support from other health care providers and a variety of special programs. If you live in the Central Coast area and you have a diagnosis of or concerns about breast cancer, we're here to help.

Contact us at or (805) 879-0660.

Patient Navigation

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides Patient Navigation services in order to assist patients on the journey to live with, through, and beyond cancer. Navigators serve as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management.

Navigators offer coordination of care throughout a cancer patient's experience, by:

  • Explaining medical procedures and providing cancer information
  • Ensuring medical appointments are scheduled and kept
  • Coordinating and streamlining insurance information
  • Identifying local resources and appropriate support
  • Enhancing communication between care providers

For more information, contact the Patient Navigation department at (805) 879-0660 or

Oncology Social Work Services and Counseling

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, call (805) 879-5690.  

Books at the Cancer Resource Library

ASCO Answers: Breast Cancer
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Available in print at the Cancer Resource Library and as a downloadable PDF.

The booklet provides information about diagnosis, treatment, and side effects in a conversational tone and a reassuring look and feel to give patients and their caregivers the tools and resources they need to become active participants in their cancer care. Each section of this comprehensive guide also contains questions patients can ask their health care team, as well as space to write down the answers and make other notes. In addition, there are check boxes to help patients keep track of the tests, procedures, and treatments they will be receiving.


For Caregivers and Partners

Frankly Speaking About Cancer: When a Woman You Care About Has Breast Cancer
Cancer Support Community
Available in print at the Library and as a downloadable PDF.

Breast Cancer Resource Center

The Breast Cancer Resource Center is a non-profit organization that offers peer-counseling, support groups, a buddy-mentor program, private sexuality and intimacy counseling services, a lending library, lecture series, and a suite of complementary and integrative therapy services such as reiki, reflexology, and meditation. All services and programs are provided at no charge. For more information, call (805) 569-9693.

Location - 55 Hitchcock Way, Suite 101, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | |