Have you recently been diagnosed with breast cancer? Not sure where to go next or what breast cancer treatment is available? We will have a look at what breast cancer treatment options are available so you can be more informed as to what is out there.
The good news is there are several different options such as complex breast surgery or therapy that you can choose from. These options include the following:
- Hormone Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
- Neoadjuvant Therapy
The best treatment for the first stage of breast cancer is surgery. The purpose of surgery is to kill as many cancer cells as possible from the breast. Cancer will then be sent to a pathologist. The pathologist will put together a report of the findings. There are a couple of major types of surgery for breast cancer. These are Mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery. Mastectomy is where the breast or breasts will be completely removed. Breast-conserving surgery will remove a small amount of breast that has cancer in it.
Chemotherapy is the most used treatment once breast cancer surgery has taken place. The purpose of chemotherapy is to try and completely remove any cancer cells that may be lingering in the body. If this is being used after surgery, this is known as neoadjuvant therapy.
Neoadjuvant therapy is similar to chemotherapy. Patients are asked to take the same drugs used in chemotherapy. The purpose of Neoadjuvant therapy is to try to make the breast tumor as small as possible. It is also designed to completely remove other cancer cells in other locations in the body. Radiotherapy is also known as radiation therapy. This uses X-ray’s which are designed to completely remove cancer cells in the breast and nearby areas following surgery.
Targeted therapy uses certain drugs that are designed to aim at certain enzymes or proteins that may be sitting in the cancer cell areas. The most common drug is called Herceptin and will treat HER2-positive breast cancer. There is a range of other targeted therapies that may better suit your situation. Tykerb, Kadcyla,
Hormone therapy is used as an oral medication. Most patients will take this every day for up to five years following other treatment options.
Before deciding what treatment option might be best for you, always find out as much information as you can about these options. Discuss these options with your doctors and always ask them questions. Don’t forget to ask about the side effects of these treatments.