Medical Dictionary of Bone Cancer

C A N C E R  I N F O R M A T I O N

Breast Cancer Treatments

There are various breast cancer treatments. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer the breast cancer treatments that will be chosen for you will depend upon the grade and stage of your cancer, how old you are, whether you have been through menopause, the size of the cancer or tumor and whether the cancer cells have receptors for oestrogen or certain proteins such as HER2.

One of the most common breast cancer treatments is surgery. During surgery either a portion of the breast tissue will be taken out or the entire breast may be removed. Breast reconstruction can also be performed either during the initial surgery or it can be scheduled at a later date. Hormonal therapy or chemotherapy is common breast cancer treatments prior to surgery. Doing these treatments prior to surgery can shrink the cancer prior to surgery. Chemotherapy and hormonal therapy is known as neoadjuvant therapy.

After surgery to remove the cancer, radiotherapy may be given. Radiotherapy is the common breast cancer treatments that are used to destroy any cancer cells that may be lingering. Once surgery is complete physicians will be able to tell you what stage and grade of cancer you have. Then, you can look at different things to be able to predict whether the cancer will spread or come back. Here are some things that will be taken into consideration to help predict whether the cancer will return:

  • the tumour’s size
  • whether the lymph nodes were affected
  • the tumour’s grade
  • if the cancer cells have spread
  • whether the cancer cells have receptors for oestrogen or certain proteins

Physicians can only make predictions and calculate the chance of the cancer returning or spreading. No one can truly predict what will happen, however the predictions can go far in helping you and your phsycian to know which medical steps to take next. You should become educated about breast cancer if you have been diagnosed with it. Know what breast cancer treatments are and do not be afraid to ask your phsyican questions if you do not understand something. It is often helpful to write down your questions as you think of them so when you go to the doctor you are prepared.

If you have any questions about your breast cancer treatment, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or hospital nurse. You may like to take a close relative or friend with you to remind you of questions at the time or the answers afterwards. It often helps to make a list of the questions you want to ask about breast cancer treatments so when you go into the office you are prepared and you do not forget because you are nervous.

Being diagnosed with cancer can be very frightening. Most hopsitals have support groups which can greatly benefit individuals who are facing breast cancer. Being in a supportive environment with people who are also facing breast cancer can go far in helping you not feel so alone.

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