It sounds terrible when you heard that you have breast cancer. But it is the most common invasive cancer found in women. Not only women but men also come up with breast cancer but little compared to women. Breast cancer usually develops from breast tissue due to uncontrollable cell division. It leads to the formation of malignant tumor in the breast. But you need not worry, today we have many treatments and therapies to cure breast cancer. Often, you have no doubt that these treatments will work or not. With the latest treatments, the breast cancer operation success rate is very high. Do you want to know what is the treatment of breast cancer? So, go through the complete article to know the breast cancer treatment in detail before an operation.
Best Cancer Treatment Guidelines
Like other body parts, breast also contains several microscopic cells. These cells divide and forms new cells in order to replace the dead ones. But if cell dividing occurs uncontrollably, this breast cancer will occur. Breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body if cancer cells travel to other body parts through lymph nodes. Signs to identify breast cancer are a lump in the breast, change in breast shape, fluid from the nipple, etc. In ancient times there is no treatment for breast cancer. But with an advancement of technology, several scientists has made experiments and found different treatments to cure breast cancer.
Also read: Types of breast cancer
Hence, whenever you found these symptoms consult the doctor and made a diagnosis. After breast cancer diagnosis, an oncologist will suggest you the treatment plan depending on the stage of breast cancer. Since there are different treatments and therapies to cure breast cancer, the doctor will tell you the appropriate treatment according to your condition. The cost of breast cancer treatment will vary according to the therapy used. There are different types of breast cancer treatment that include the following.
- Radiation therapy.
- Hormone therapy.
- Targeted therapy.
Surgery to treat breast cancer
Surgery is the first step for DCIS breast cancer treatment. Also, it is the most suitable treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Depending on the stages of breast cancer, the surgeries may vary. Surgery involves removal of tumors that affect healthy tissues near the breast. Also, surgery examines whether cancer has spread to auxiliary lymph nodes under the arm. Surgery helps to relieve breast cancer symptoms and also to regenerate the breast shape after a tumor is removed. This method is also known as breast reconstruction. Let us have a knowledge of types of surgeries to treat breast cancer.
Must Read: Identification of breast cancer
Lumpectomy refers to the removal of a tumor that causes breast cancer and also separates some part of normal tissues that surround the tumor. In this surgery, only some part of the breast is removed, and the remaining part will conserve. Hence, this surgery is also known as Breast Conserving Surgery. The other names of Lumpectomy are Quadrantectomy, Segmental Mastectomy, or Partial Mastectomy.
Mastectomy is the second type of surgery to treat breast cancer. In this treatment, doctor’s will remove all the breast. Sometimes, surrounding tissues will also be removed. Mastectomy has several types depending on how much additional tissues are removed. The common Mastectomy types for breast cancer treatment are Simple, Double, Skin-sparing, modified radical, radical, nipple-sparing Mastectomies. In some cases, women may need complete removal of two breasts.
Radiation therapy Treatment for Breast Cancer
Mostly this radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer is used after lumpectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy. Often, mostly used for stage 2 breast cancer treatment. The breast cancer radiation therapy is used to treat cancer in lymph nodes under arm. Radiation therapy includes series of high-energy X-rays to kill cancer-causing cells. Usually, this radiation treatment for breast cancer is given daily for several weeks to get rid of cancer cells that form tumors. Some patients require this treatment either alone or with a combination of some other cancer treatments. There exist two treatment options for breast cancer in radiation therapy.
Also read: Stages of breast cancer
External Beam Radiation
External Beam Radiation in its short form external radiation. In this radiation therapy, a large machine, linear accelerator provides high beam radiations on the effective areas of the breast. This breast cancer treatment is given from outside of the body. Generally, this radiation treatment is given to destroy remaining cancer cells after Lumpectomy, Mastectomy. Based on the situation, this treatment is given for 5 days in a week and a total of 5 to 7 weeks like this. In fact, this external beam radiation avoids reoccurrence of cancer disease in women. Often, breast cancer new treatment like modern surgeries shows a decline in recurrence rates of upto 5%.
Doctors also recommend Adjuvant radiation therapy for some women after taking Mastectomy. This breast cancer treatment is given based on the number of lymph nodes, tissues that are removed during the surgery. Also, some factors like ER, PR, HER2 status considered for Adjuvant radiation therapy. In addition to this, doctor’s suggest Neoadjuvant radiation therapy shrink tumors that make easy for removal.
Side effects of Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy can cause many side effects that include fatigue, breast swelling, redness, skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation. Also, pain on the skin which exposed to radiation, and sometimes cause blisters. In some cases, lungs will also affect and cause pneumonitis. But the modern treatments of breast cancer will help to heal these risks occurs due to radiation.
Internal Radiation or Brachytherapy
The another way for delivering radiation is Internal Radiation, also partial breast radiation or Brachytherapy. In this cancer breast treatment, doctor’s will use a device that contains radioactive seeds or pellets. These seeds will place in the breast tissues where the cancer happen. Also, women who take breast conserving surgery will also give brachytherapy to limit tumor size.
Must read: Causes of Breast cancer
Side effects of internal radiation
Brachytherapy also has several side effects that include the following
- Breast pain.
- Break-down of an area of fat tissue in the breast.
- Weakness and fracture of the ribs in rare cases.
Chemotherapy Treatment for Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy, another name systemic therapy uses medications for breast cancer cure. Also, chemotherapy is one of the best stage 3 breast cancer treatment options. Cancer cells grow and divide in our body very quickly. Sometimes, these cells travel to other parts thereby spreads the cancer disease. Hence, chemotherapy breast cancer treatment drugs stop the cancer-causing cells and prevent further growing of cells. In chemotherapy, medical oncologist, who treats breast cancer disease with drugs, offers prescribed medicines. He will inject these breast cancer chemotherapy drugs through veins into your body. Or else, you can take cancer medicines by mouth. These medications will flow along with your blood stream and kill the cancer cells that left after breast cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy, the best cancer solution treats women whose cancer has spread from the breast to other parts like underarms. Mainly, it treats
- Early-stage invasive breast cancer to kill left over cells after surgery and reduce the risk of getting the cancer again.
- Advanced-stage breast cancer to destroy the cells to avoid spreading of cancer cells to other parts.
Chemotherapy also has two types namely adjuvant chemotherapy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy. If chemotherapy is given before the surgery to shrink the size of the tumor, it is known as Neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Else, given after the surgery to prevent recurrence, known as Adjuvant chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy Breast Cancer Drugs
Check the list of chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer disease treatment.
- Capecitabine (Xeloda).
- Methotrexate (multiple brand names).
- Paclitaxel (Taxol).
- Carboplatin (Paraplatin).
- Cisplatin (Platinol).
- Gemcitabine (Gemzar).
- Cyclophosphamide (Neosar).
- Docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere).
- Epirubicin (Ellence).
- Doxorubicin (Adriamycin).
- Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil).
- Fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil).
Remember that we can use drugs either alone or combination with other drugs. These combinations of medications for breast cancer new treatment also known as Chemotherapy regimes. Chemotherapy will also give as treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients. Chemotherapy also targeted to cure her2 positive breast cancer. The best cancer treatment drugs for her2 positive breast cancer includes
- TCHP (docetaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab, pertuzumab).
- TCH (docetaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab).
- ACTH (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, paclitaxel, trastuzumab).
- THP (paclitaxel or docetaxel, trastuzumab, pertuzumab).
The side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea. But these side effects can easily manage with some care and usage of concern medicines. Along with these side effects, some long term side effects like nerve damages, heart damage, and secondary cancers. Hence, consult specialists and know the treatment of breast cancer side effects clearly.
Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
Hormone therapy works effectively for stage 4 breast cancer treatment. In our body, glands produce certain hormones called estrogen and progesterone that help to regulate body cycles like menstruation. But in certain cases, these hormones will cause cancer. Blocking of these hormones can cure the breast cancer fastly and effectively. Hence, Hormonal therapy, the best treatment used to cure tumors which test positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors. Hormonal therapy, also known as endocrine therapy used for both early stage and metastatic breast cancer treatment. Hormonal therapy uses several drugs that reach anywhere in the body to kill cancer cells. Mainly, this hormone therapy used for women’s with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer(ER-positive, PR-positive). But it is not recommended for women’s with hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.
Hormonal therapy drugs to cure Breast Cancer
Actually, ovaries in women make estrogen hormones. Blocking of these estrogen levels can help to reduce breast cancer symptoms. In some situations, an oncologist may remove ovaries and fallopian tubes to cure hormone receptor-positive breast cancer disease. Else, these ovaries can stop by using some medications.
Check the hormone therapy drugs to ease breast cancer symptoms.
- Aromatase inhibitors.
- Ovarian Suppression.
Tamoxifen is the best cancer treatment drug that helps to block estrogen hormones that bind to cancer cells. It is effective to stop growing and dividing of these cells and prevent further recurrence of cancer. Tamoxifen acts like anti-estrogen that it blocks only selective estrogen receptors that cause cancer while keeps remaining. Hence, Tamoxifen, also known as selective estrogen receptor modulator(SERM). This drug helps in numerous ways that include
- Those women who had surgery, tamoxifen helps to reduce the chances of a further reappearance of this disease.
- Also, prevents the risk of getting new cancer in either that breast or other.
- Women who took treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), tamoxifen prevent further getting of DCIS.
Must read: Detailed information on breast cancer
Tamoxifen is the best treatment for breast cancer for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. But the side effects associated with this drug are vaginal dryness, bleeding, hot flashes. Also, has some risk factors for blood clots, cataracts.
Aromatase Inhibitors stop the production of estrogen levels made by tissues in our body. Ovaries make most of the estrogen, but if they don’t work due to menopause, aromatase enzymes made a little amount of estrogen. Hence, Al’s blocks these aromatase enzymes to avoid production of estrogen. Common drugs associated with aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment are
- Letrozole (Femara).
- Anastrozole (Arimidex).
- Exemestane (Aromasin).
You can take these drugs alone or combination with Tamoxifen to get best and effective results. Besides these results, several researchers found that these cancer treatment drugs has some side effects. Muscle or joint pains, increased cholesterol levels, vaginal dryness, broken bones.
Targeted Therapy for Cancer Breast Treatment
Targeted therapy, the new treatment for breast cancer that targets particular genes, proteins, tissues which are main reasons for cancer growth. Compared with chemotherapy, targeted therapy has fewer side effects and doesn’t have harm. Besides, this therapy shows best results than chemotherapy. Often, targeted therapies act like antibodies which develop naturally by our immune system. Hence, this therapy also called immune targeted therapy. This natural treatment for breast cancer also prevents spreading of cancer to bones. The most recommended targeted therapies for breast cancer are HER2 targeted therapies to treat HER2 positive breast cancer. In addition to this, some medicines like palbociclib, Everolimus (Afinitor) used for HER2 negative breast cancer treatment.
Palbociclib is one of the targeted therapies used to destroy proteins called CDK4/6 which promotes the growth of cancer. Destroying these cancer cells can prevent further dividing of cancer cells and prevent an occurrence of new cells. This therapy cures women who took menopause and have HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer effectively. But this drug has some side effects like mouth sores, a decrease in RBC count, hair loss, nausea. Since the count of red blood cells decreases the risk of the infection increases.
Like Palbociclib, Everolimus is a targeted therapy for both ER-positive and HER2 negative breast cancer treatment. But this targets on a protein mTOR known to divide and growth of cancer cells. Also, this drug helps to stop tumors for preventing cancer growth. This drug is present in the form of a pill that you can take directly by mouth. But like other drugs it also has some side effects like a cough, shortness of breath, numbness, etc. In some cases, this drug increases the levels of blood sugar and cholesterols. Hence, consult your doctor and take suggestions to lower the risk of infections.
Check the complete breast cancer information like stages of breast cancer, causes of breast cancer, breast cancer symptoms using the below link.