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Must-know Facts about Breast Cancer Treatment

There are many ways to treat a patient suffering from breast cancer. Some common treatments include mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Cancer By Subhasish Dutta / Oct 16, 2012


In simple mastectomy, the infectious breast is removed completely from the body. All the tissues are removed and a reconstruction surgery is advised. Whereas, modified radical mastectomy involves the removing of chest muscle, lymph nodes of the axilla. (Image source:Gettyimages)


Also known as breast-conserving surgery, it deals with removing only the partial portion of the breast which is determined by the size and extent of the malignant tumour. It is seen as a more conventional way of preserving the breasts. But lumpectomy may require a patient to undergo radiation therapy and also need a long-term follow-up. (Image source:Gettyimages)

Radiation therapy

The cancerous cells are destroyed by using the high-energy rays which are focused on the affected area with the help of a machine. The exact location is determined by a series of tests and examination of the breasts. Radiotherapy reduces the risk of cancer reoccurrence by up to 70 percent and also the side-effects are only limited to the treated part. (Image source:Gettyimages)


The primary goal of chemotherapy is to slow the progress of cancer. Antineoplastic drug is given through injections or orally and it travels through blood to the infected area. There are three types of chemotherapy treatments available for breast cancer, namely adjuvant chemotherapy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy and palliative chemotherapy. (Image source:Gettyimages)


Adjuvant Chemotherapy

Adjuvant chemotherapy is given when there is still a degree of malignant cells which are left even after the surgery. While, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is be given before a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the tumour. It increases the success rate of the treatment and often reduces the need for more extensive radical radiotherapy. Palliative chemotherapy is given when the cancer has reached to a stage of metastatic breast cancer, where the cancer cells spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes. (Image source:Gettyimages)

Hormone Therapy

Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Hormone therapy is widely used to slow down the growth of these hormones in the body. This therapy is highly recommended to women who are at high risk of getting breast cancer. Hormone therapy is also known as hormonal therapy or endocrine therapy. (Image source:Gettyimages)

Breast Cancer Outlook

Breast cancer is quite a dreadful disease. Breast cancer patients make up 30% of all the female cancer patients worldwide. An individual's prognosis depends on the type and stage of the condition. Outlook of good is first two stages but not good for the last two stages. (Image source:Gettyimages)

When Diagnosed Early

More than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage survive their disease for at least five years. This figure is around 15% for those women who are diagnosed with the most advanced stage disease. (Source – www.cancerresearchuk.org) (Image source:Gettyimages)


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