Breast cancer is treated in a variety of different ways depending on how far the cancer has spread. Often, people with breast cancer receive multiple types of treatment. To determine the best course of treatment, a doctor will evaluate the cancer’s size, stage, and grade. Treatment options include:
Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. There are different types of surgery including:
Lumpectomy: This surgery removes the tumor along with a small portion of normal tissue from the breast. This procedure preserves the rest of the breast.
Mastectomy: This surgery removes the entire breast and in the case of a double mastectomy, both breasts are removed.
Sentinel node biopsy: This surgery is the removal of the first lymph node, or sentinel nodes, where the cancer is first likely to spread. The lymph nodes will be examined to see if cancer cells are found.
Axillary lymph node dissection: If cancer cells are found in the Sentinel node biopsy, this surgery will remove more lymph nodes.
Contralateral prophylactic: This surgery is the removal of an entire healthy breast to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer again.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves the use of one or more medicines, that are used to stop cancer cells from reproducing, preventing the cancer cells from growing or spreading. Doctors will often use chemotherapy in the hopes to shrink the cancerous tumors, so surgery will be less invasive.
Hormonal therapy: Hormonal therapy involves the use of drugs to stop estrogen or progesterone production in the body. These hormones can stimulate the growth of breast cancer and by blocking their production in the body the cancer cells may stop growing.
Biological therapy: Biological therapy uses the body’s immune system to help kill cancer cells. The goal is to make your body recognize cancer cells as abnormal, so your immune system will fight them off.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high energy rays or other particles to kill breast cancer cells.
To find a treatment right for you talk to your doctor about all the options available. Listen to your doctor for different treatment options risks, benefits, and side effects. For an in-depth overview of breast cancer causes, risk factors, symptoms, and facts visit our blog titled, Breast Cancer Awareness, at wellnessalliances.com.
1. “How Is Breast Cancer Treated?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Sept. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/treatment.htm.