13 Treatments For Breast Cancer

Treatments For Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a chronic disease that mostly affects women but this doesn’t mean that men cannot be affected. They can be affected though at lower risk. Hence, it is imperative for you to check any breast changes and immediately consult a physician. Breast cancer can be detected by a simple procedure, called the Breast Self-Examination (BSE). This is done every month, a week after your menstruation so as to have accurate results. It is then confirmed through fine needle aspiration. Breast cancer is known as a debilitating illness wherein there is abnormal growth and development of malignant cells in the breast tissues.

These malignant cells are called opportunistic. They grow and multiply quickly and are the ones to receive the nourishment the normal cells should have. Also, malignant cells have longer life span than the normal cells. These characteristics cause the cancer to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body such as bone, liver and brain. That is why treatments should be done. It must be terrifying but various treatments are now available.Following are the common treatments for breast cancer.


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Treatment Options for Breast Cancer

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is the first line of treatment your doctor would suggest. It includes removal of the tumor so as to halt the spread of cancer cells in your body. There are different ways to remove the tumor but it depends on the stage of your illness.

Surgical Treatments


Prophylactic Mastectomy

Breast tissue will be removed for women with high risk of developing breast cancer to prevent its malignancy.

Prophylactic Mastectomy


Breast Conserving Procedure

This includes lumpectomy, wide excision, partial mastectomy, segmental mastectomy and quantectomy. The goal of breast conservation procedures is the removal of the tumor while maintaining good cosmetic results.

Breast Conserving Procedure


Total Mastectomy

Only the breast tissue will be removed and some of the axillary lymph nodes. The axillary lymph nodes will be removed through another incision and may be examined to determine the extensiveness of the cancer. This is commonly used for carcinoma in situ and usually, the ductal type.

Total Mastectomy

Modified Radical Mastectomy

The entire breast tissue will be removed together with axillary lymph nodes. But, the muscles called the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor were to be remained as it is, meaning it will not be touched and will remain intact. The goal of this surgery is maintaining the normal function of your arms, hands and shoulder on the side affected by cancer cells.

Radical Mastectomy

The entire breast tissue will be removed along with the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Axillary lymph node dissection will also be done in this type of surgery.

Axillary Lymph node dissection

This is usually done in conjunction with other type of surgery. Another incision will be done and some or all axillary lymph nodes will be removed to determine the extensiveness of the disease.


Cryotherapy/Cryosurgery

This type of surgery includes the use of extreme cold in which the cancer cell will be frozen causing now their destruction. It is a new type of surgery and is still on the process of being introduced in the medical society.

Cryotherapy


Reconstructive Surgery

This is an optional type of surgery but this causes a considerable boost in self-confidence since women who undergone removal of the breast may cause depression and low self-esteem. This type of surgery will rebuild the breast’s shape after mastectomy. It is a rehabilitative surgery which has a psychological benefit. However, this surgery is not advised to women who have advanced breast cancer.

Reconstructive Surgery


Chemotherapy

It is a type of therapy which includes the use of antineoplastic agents to disturb the growth and multiplication of the cancer cells therefore, causing their destruction. Chemotherapy can be used with radiation therapy and surgery to destroy the remaining cancer cells in your body. Several drugs are combined to increase their ability to destroy cancer cells and to prevent the resistance of the cancer cells. Examples of drugs used are cyclophosphamide, fluorouracil, methotrexate and doxorubicin.

Chemotherapy


Radiation

If you undergone any type of breast conserving procedure radiation therapy will follow. This is done to decrease the chance of recurrence of the cancer. It will also destroy the remaining cancer cell so that was not removed during the surgery. Radiation therapy will usually start 6 weeks after the breast conserving procedure to allow the incision to be healed.

This is done so that equal effect or result as that of mastectomy will be achieved. There are types of radiation, one is called as external radiation therapy and the other is internal radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine called linear accelerator to deliver the radiation. In internal radiation therapy, implants will be used to deliver the radiation.

Radiation


Hormonal Therapy

This type of therapy is only used if it is found out that you are positive in the estrogen and progesterone receptor assay. If you are positive, then it means that you have increasing hormone production. It also means that the cancer cells in your body depend on estrogen and/or progesterone production for their nourishment.

Surgery to remove the hormone producing glands such as the ovaries, pituitary and the adrenal glands may be included in the therapy to decrease the amount of hormones that may inadvertently supply nourishment to the cancer cells. Today, the widely used hormonal agent is Tamoxifen. Other drugs include anastrazole, letrazole, leuprolide, megestrole, diethylstilbestrole, fluoxy mesterone and aminogluthetimide.

Hormonal Therapy


Targeted Therapy

This is a type of therapy which uses certain types of drugs and substances to trace the cancer cells and destroy them without harming the normal cells in the process. There are two types of targeted therapies being used. One is monoclonal antibody therapy; it is used to trace the cancer cells. These types of antibodies have this ability to identify substances that is specific only to cancer cells.

Once identified, they simply attach to the cancer cells and destroy them by interfering with their growth and preventing them from multiplying. Another therapy used is the tyrosine kinase inhibitor. This type of therapy blocks the signals emitted by the cancer cells, thereby preventing their growth suppressing now the growth of the tumor.

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