How Breast Cancer is Treated?

The earlier patient gets treatment, the better she become. But before making treatment decisions, one should research different options.


Surgery for Breast Cancer

The treatment options for breast cancer depend on how advanced the cancer is, how old the woman is, and how healthy she is otherwise. If possible, breast cancer is treated surgically, followed usually by some combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy.

The standard surgery for breast cancer was once modified radical mastectomy – – removal of the entire breast and lymph nodes in the breast and under the arm. For many women whose breast cancer is detected early and is still localized, lumpectomy — removal of the cancerous lump and testing key lymph nodes — is now the preferred treatment. Followed by appropriate radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy, lumpectomy has proven as effective as mastectomy for early breast cancer and is much less disfiguring.

For breast cancer that has metastasized and for breast cancer that has come back, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the main treatments. Hormone therapy may also be beneficial for cancers that are hormone-responsive. In addition, biologic modifiers such as trastuzumab (Herceptin) may be useful in helping patients whose cancer carries the her-2- neu oncogene. Surgery may still be an option depending upon the site of recurrence and the extent of other sites of disease.

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Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

When breast cancer is limited to the breast or lymph nodes, adjuvant chemotherapy and/or endocrine therapy may be given after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. This is done to help reduce the chance of breast cancer coming back.

Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy is usually given after a lumpectomy and sometimes after a mastectomy to reduce the risk of cancer coming back in the same breast. The radiation treatments generally start several weeks after the surgery so the area has some time to heal. If doctor recommends chemotherapy along with radiation therapy, the chemotherapy should be given before one starts radiation therapy.










Read our blog ‘Who is at risk of Breast Cancer’ by clicking .