Breast cancer emanates in the breast tissue due to the mutation of breast cells. It is one of the most common cancers among women, and even men can experience breast cancer at times. With advanced medical technology, there are better treatments available today. All breast cancer treatments primarily focus on eliminating cancer from the body and ensuring proper steps to keep cancer from returning. One can pick the best breast cancer treatment by assessing their needs and adequate consultation.
Types of breast cancer
The type of breast cancer can be gauged by specific cells in the breast that become cancerous. It is determined by assessing its place of origin, how much it has grown, and how it behaves.
- Ductal or lobular carcinoma
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Angiosarcoma of the breast
- HER2 status
- Triple-negative breast cancer
- Phyllodes tumours
- Paget’s disease of the breast
- Ductal / Lobular carcinoma in situ ( DCIS) / ( LCIS)
- Male breast cancer
- Recurrent breast cancer
Types of breast cancer treatment
Before deciding the proper treatment for you, the doctor will consider a few things. The kind of breast cancer, its stage, size of the tumour, age, etc., play an instrumental role in the decision-making. Given below are the different ways in which it can be treated.
- It is the primary step and a key component in which doctors remove the tumour.
- Lumpectomy is performed in which parts of the breast which contain cancerous cells are removed.
- Doctors consider it safe to remove the entire breast in a Mastectomy.
- Surgery can also be performed to remove nearby lymph nodes.
- After the removal of cancer, breast reconstruction takes place. It is fundamentally a surgery in which a new breast is constructed post removal.
- Radiation Therapy
- Cancer cells are killed with the aid of high-energy x-rays.
- External beam radiotherapy minimizes the possibility of recurring cancer.
- Radiotherapy comes with specific side effects, such as changes to the skin in the treatment area and tiredness.
- Cancer cells are killed with the help of cytotoxic (anti-cancer drugs).
- The drugs disrupt the growth of cancer cells and circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body.
- The treatment can also take place with the help of a long plastic tube that goes into your chest. The tube stays intact during treatment. It can be a PICC line, portacath, or a central line.
- The treatment takes place in a series. Once the chemotherapy drug or its combination is inducted inside the body, it needs some time to recover and cope with it.
- The cycle of treatment fluctuates depending on the kind of treatment.
- Chemotherapy which takes place before the surgery, is referred to as neoadjuvant therapy. It primarily targets to shrink the size of the tumour and lower the risk of a relapse.
- The common side effects of chemotherapy are loss of weight and appetite, feeling tired, hair loss, easy bruising and bleeding, low immunity, and resistance.
- Hormone therapy
- Hormones are essentially made in our body naturally. However, at times, they can trigger the production of breast cancer cells.
- Such treatments aim at decreasing the levels of progesterone or estrogen in the body and hinder their effects.
- When estrogen receptors are present in the body, hormone therapy works wonderfully.
- After diagnosis, the doctor runs tests to gauge the cancer cells’ estrogen receptors.
- 70% of breast cancers are estrogen positive and have receptors.
- Hormone therapy takes place after proper surgery for breast cancer. After the completion of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, one can begin hormone therapy.
- It lowers the risk of recurring cancer. However, one has to take this treatment for 5 years or more, depending upon the situation.
- The type of hormone treatment usually depends on a few things, such as whether or not one has reached menopause, risk of cancer coming back, etc.
- Targeted therapies
- These are medicines that fundamentally alter the functioning of cells and prevent cancer from spreading. These drugs block the signals that indicate the cancerous cells to grow or target and prevent them from living longer than usual.
- Trastuzumab is the most common targeted therapy to curb breast cancer.
- These are given in the vein as an injection under the skin or in the form of a pill.
- These drugs enter the bloodstream and run throughout the body; hence these are effective even if cancer has spread to different parts.
- There are different forms of targeted therapy, such as small-molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies.
Owing to the massive support for breast cancer research and awareness, significant advancements have been made in its treatment. As a result, the number of deaths has reduced massively. By taking timely measures and making informed decisions, one can beat breast cancer with the best cancer treatment.
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