breast cancer treatmentBreast cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts. What is breast cancer? Breast Cancer types and its prevention are very well explained in my previous article Breast Cancer prevention tips for women .

Most women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer will undergo some form of treatment for the disease. The most favorable course of treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the size and location of the breast tumor, the stage of the cancer, and results of other laboratory tests. There are various side effects of breast cancer treatment so it is advised to consult the doctor and inquire about the side effects (if any).

Tests For Breast Cancer

  • Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Test :It is a test done to check the hormonal ( estrogen and progesterone)  level/amount and their effect on the growth of cancer
  • Mammogram : It is a X – ray of the breast.
  • – Biopsy : It is generally done when lump is found in breast. It is done by pathologist by removing cells/tissues to be viewed under microscope for checking the symptoms of cancer.
  • MRI ( magnetic resonance imaging ) : MRI is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and is done by using magenta, radio waves, computer to make series of detailed pictures.

Factors effecting Breast Cancer Treatment

  • – Size of the breast cancer
  • – Stage of the breast cancer
  • – Growth cycle of the breast cancer.
  • – Location of the breast cancer.
  • – Menopausal status and general health of a women.
  • – Presence or absence of  human epidermal growth factor (HER-2/neu ) in cancer.
  • – Spread of breast cancer ( presence in lymph nodes ).
  • – Presence of estrogen and progesterone level in cancer tissues .

Treatment Of Breast Cancer

Surgery :

There are several type of surgery available and is one of the most common type of treatment of breast cancer. Some common types of surgery are :

  1. Breast Conserving surgery : It is also called as breast spraying surgery and is done by removing the cancer i.e part of the breast containing the cancer and  not the breast.  After breast spraying surgery a women have to receive radiation to destroy the remaining caner cells/ tissues.
  2. – Mastectomy : This surgery involves removal of whole breast and under arm lymph nodes also if required.
  3. – Axillary Lymph Node Dissection : It is also called sentinel  node biopsy and is done by removing underarm lymph nodes by making a  separate incision.

Radiation Therapy :

Radio therapy involves the usage of high dose X – Rays to shrink or remove the tumor. It s also called as radio therapy. Depending upon stage and health of a women the radio therapy is done after( after breast conserving surgery)  and before the surgery. Doctors generally follow two types of radio therapy:

  1. External radiation : The radiation are given from a big machine in a clinic. It is generally done for 5 days.
  2. – Internal radiation: This is done by  implantation of plastic tubes holding radio active substances  directly into the breast.

Chemotherapy :

Chemotherapy is done by using anticancer drug and is also called as systemic treatment. The medicines enter the bloodstream, travel through the body, and can destroy cancer cells outside the target area. The anticancer drug can be given in the form of pill or it can be injected into the vein.

Hormone Therapy :

If the breast tumor has hormone receptor than estrogen and progesterone are used to change the way hormones are causing cancer growth. The presence of hormone receptor is found by tests. The treatment is done by either using drugs or surgery:

  1. Drugs: The drugs act as a hormone inhibitor. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen and Estradiol blocks female hormone are two commonly used drugs.
  2. Surgery : Ovaries are the main source of estrogen and thus if a women has not gone through menopause the ovaries are removed through surgery.

Biological Therapy :

Biological therapy is given to those women whose test shows the presence of HER2 ( a specific protein). This therapy is done by giving an monoclonal antibody Herceptin® (trastzumab) which binds with HER2 and reduces the growth of  cancer by blocking them.

Leave me a comment and share treatment options for breast cancer. The tratments are pretty clear but there is a need to spread the awareness about it. Let me know what you think about it.  Subscribe to our RSS for latest updates for free