Breast cancer treatment overview.
The most important thing to remember about breast cancer treatment is that there is no one “right” way to treat the disease. What works for one woman may not work for another. The best course of action is to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Types of breast cancer treatment.
There are many different types of breast cancer treatment available today. The most common type of treatment is surgery, which can be used to remove the cancerous tumor from the breast. Other common treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.
Surgery is often the first step in treating breast cancer. The type of surgery performed will depend on the size and location of the tumor, as well as whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer is small and confined to one area of the breast, a lumpectomy (removal of just the tumor) may be all that is necessary. If the cancer is larger or has spread to other parts of the body, a mastectomy (removal of all or part of the breast) may be necessary.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It can be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells, or it can be used as a primary treatment for early-stage breast cancers. Radiation therapy can be given externally (from a machine outside the body) or internally (through implants placed directly into the breast).
How breast cancer treatment works?
Breast cancer treatment usually involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. The type of breast cancer determines the best course of treatment.
Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. A lumpectomy removes the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. A mastectomy removes the entire breast. Lymph nodes may also be removed during either type of surgery.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It is typically given after surgery but may also be used before surgery to shrink a tumor.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and is often given intravenously (through an IV). It may be used before or after surgery and may be given with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can cause side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and fatigue.
Hormone therapy uses drugs that block or lower the amount of hormones in the body such as estrogen and progesterone. This can prevent breast cancer from growing or returning after treatment. Hormone therapy is typically given to postmenopausal women but may also be used in premenopausal women who can’t have their ovaries removed surgically (oophorectomy).
Side effects of breast cancer treatment.
Treatment for breast cancer can have many side effects. Some common side effects of breast cancer treatment include fatigue, hot flashes, and joint pain. These side effects can be mild or severe, and they may last for a short time or be ongoing.
Most people who have breast cancer treatment will experience some type of side effect. The good news is that there are ways to manage them. If you are having any problems with side effects, talk to your doctor or nurse. They can help you find ways to feel better.