Breast cancer was once considered a fatal disease, which left family and friends of patients in deep agony. However, thanks to medical advancements, breast cancer can be treated and cured. Though there is no guarantee that it will not reoccur, there is more hope than ever before.
The treatments used for breast cancer include –
- Hormone Therapy
- Targeted Treatment
Doctors may suggest a combination of these treatments depending on the patient’s condition.
Surgery and Radiotherapy
Many people start their breast cancer treatment options with a surgery. With the help of surgery, the cancerous cells are removed from the breast. There are different kinds of surgery, your doctor will prescribe the one which best fits your condition. After surgery, the patient will usually have to undergo radiotherapy. There is no perfect answer to which kind of treatment you should opt for. Apart from the doctor’s suggestion, your personal approval is equally important. For example, some women may not be ok with complete removal of the breast; hence, immediately after the surgery they may go for breast reconstruction. It is not good to make a a quick decision on treatment options if your cancer is not very advanced. Use the time you have to decide upon the best treatment options for you.
Chemotherapy and Hormone Therapy
Chemotherapy and Hormone Therapy can be given before and after surgery.
Treatment before surgery
Cancer treatment before surgery is known as neo adjuvant treatment. You may be advised to have chemotherapy or hormone therapy before surgery if the tumor is large or for locally advanced breast cancer so that the cancer becomes smaller and easier to remove. Chemotherapy or hormone therapy usually helps to shrink the cancer in the breast. Hormone therapy is prescribed only if you have estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.
Treatment after surgery
Chemotherapy or hormone therapy after surgery is known adjuvant treatment. It helps to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back. The type of treatment you have will depend on the following:
- Whether you have gone through menopause
- Tests that will help doctors analyze whether these therapies will work for you
- The grade of your cancer cells
- The size of the cancer in the breast
- If the cancer spread to your lymph nodes
· Women who are diagnosed with a small tumor or amount of cancer cells present and have a low risk of it coming back many not require chemotherapy.
This therapy makes use of drugs and other substance to cure cancer without disturbing the normal cells.