With the advent of technology, researchers and scientists have come up with wide varieties of life-saving breast cancer treatment instead of the 1 or 2 options available in the past. This brings new hope to breast cancer sufferers. Today, there are many treatment choices to choose from in fighting the cancerous cells. Because of the many choices, choosing a breast cancer treatment that suits you can be overwhelming. Listed below are the treatments that are available.
Diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Now What?
So your doctor has diagnosed you as having breast cancer. Now what? Hearing that you have cancer is devastating. Often times, one will think that it is the end of the life. However, this is not true. With the advance of technology these days, there is help for sufferers.
Together with your doctors, a breast cancer treatment plan will be put together based on the pathology report after a diagnosis. The kind of treatment plan recommended depends on your unique and specific situation. It usually consists of one or more specific treatments and is intended to kill or stop the cancerous cells from spreading further. It also reduces recurrence risk in the future. In putting together a breast cancer treatment plan, your overall medical condition will be taken into consideration. Treatments are evaluated periodically.
Surgery, a breast cancer treatment, is usually the first option in the fight against it. Many factors, such as the cancer’s stage and its personality, contribute to surgery decisions. It also depends on your acceptability. Based on these factors, your doctor will determine what kind of surgery is the most appropriate for you.
Radiotherapy, also known as radiation therapy is a highly effective and targeted breast cancer treatment to destroy cancerous cells found in the breast. There may still be traces of cancerous cells that are stuck after surgery. It reduces the recurrence risk by 70%. Although many people fear this treatment method, radiation therapy is easily tolerated. The side effects are limited to only the treated part. Radiation treatments are overseen by a specialized radiation oncologist, a radiation therapy cancer doctor.
Chemotherapy is a breast cancer treatment that uses medicine to destroy and weaken cancerous cells in the body. It destroys cells at the original cancer area and even those cells that may have spread to other body parts. Also known as chemo, it is a systemic therapy which combines 2 or more medicines. It goes through the bloodstream and affects the whole body.
Chemo is used to treat this disease in its early stage. It gets rid of any traces of cancerous cells that may have been left behind after surgery and reduces the cancer recurrence risk. It is also used to treat the cancer in its advanced stage. It damages or destroys the cancerous cells. In some cases, chemo is administered to shrink the tumor before surgery.
Medicine of hormonal therapy is a breast cancer treatment that treats this disease by lowering the hormone estrogen levels in the body. It also blocks the estrogen action of the cells. Hormonal therapy medicines come in several types. They are selective receptor estrogen modulators, aromatase inhibitors, and estrogen receptor down regulators.
Estrogen is produced by the ovaries in the body. It grows the hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers. Therefore, by blocking the estrogen’s action or lowering the estrogen amount, it reduces the recurrence risk after surgery. Hormonal therapy medicines are also used to stunt the growth or shrink the cancers in advanced stage. However, it does not have any effect on hormone-receptor-negative cancers.
In some cases, the fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed surgically to treat hormone-receptor-positive disease. It is also viewed as a measure to prevent this disease for women at very high risks. Medication may also be used to shut down the ovaries temporarily. It is important to take note that hormonal therapy is different from hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Targeted therapy, also known as immune targeted therapy, is a breast cancer treatment that targets specific cancerous cells characteristics, such as protein allows the cancerous cells to thrive and grow in an abnormal or rapid way. Compared to chemo, it is generally less likely to harm healthy and normal healthy cells. Targeted therapies are antibodies that work exactly like the antibodies produced by our body’s immune systems. The 3 targeted therapies that doctors use for breast cancer treatment are Avastin, Herceptin, and Tykerb.