There are different treatment options for breast cancer which includes Surgery, Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal treatment. But a number of times, combination of treatments are used. The treatment selection is dependent on various factors:
- Size & stage of the cancer
- Grades of the cells
- Patient’s age & her personal preference for treatment.
You should have a full discussion with your specialist and should know pros & cons of the treatment before you go in for the treatment.
- Surgery: Surgery includes different types of operations
Breast Lumpectomy: - A lumpectomy is a procedure where only the lump (tumor) or the surrounding breast tissues are removed.
Mastectomy: - This is done when there is a large tumor or the tumor is present in the middle of the breast. Following Mastectomy, Reconstructive surgery is done to create a new breast. It can be done at the same time of the surgery or months later .
- Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy is a treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focused on cancerous tissues. Radiation kills cancer cells & stops from multiplying. This is mainly used in conjunction with surgery.
- Hormone treatments: Hormones Like oestrogen & progesterone stimulate the cells to divide & multiply. Treatments which help to reduce the level of these hormones are used in people with breast cancer. Hormone treatment works best in women with hormone-responsive breast cancer. This is done after a test called ER/PR receptors to check whether the cancer cells will respond to hormonal treatment.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer medicines which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying. It aims to kill the cancer cells surrounding the tumor site. Chemotherapy is also recommended before the surgery sometimes to make the tumor size smaller. This is known as neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may also be used for some women to treat breast cancer which has spread to other areas of the body.
- Trastuzumab: Trastuzumab is a treatment that may be given to women where HER2 receptors are present in large numbers in the cancer cells. It is a monoclonal antibody which works by attaching to HER2 receptors on the surface on the surface of breast cancer cells and stops it from dividing and spreading further.
In summary: The treatment plan that may be advised can vary greatly from case to case, as optimal treatment can depend on many different factors.