Gone are the days when Breast Cancer was considered as one of the deadliest diseases and treatments for breast cancer were yet to be discovered. Today, the medical science has reached leaps and bounds and invented several contemporary technologies to cure this dangerous disease.
Past a few years, several lifesaving breast cancer treatments have been discovered that have not just helped in curing the patients but also given new hope to many. Depending upon the type and the stage in which breast cancer has been diagnosed, the cure for breast cancer bifurcates accordingly.
Let us now take a look at the different ways in which breast cancer is treated:
Breast Cancer Treatments
Surgery is usually considered to be the best treatment to curb breast cancer. This treatment for breast cancer is often suggested in the first place to the patients diagnosed with this disease. However, the recommendation often depends upon the type of cancer, its stage, your personality, etc.
Surgery is often performed to remove the tumor from the affected area or to diagnose the lymph nodes for any cancer spread. Based on the stage at which the cancer is detected, the surgery is differentiated into two types, lumpectomy and mastectomy.
- Lumpectomy: In this type of surgery treatment for breast cancer, the tumor along with some adjoining tissues is removed. Most often, this treatment is followed by radiation therapy. Lumpectomy is usually performed when the cancer is detected in its early stage and hasn’t spread to a greater extent.
- Mastectomy: During mastectomy, entire breast tissue is removed and is usually performed when the cancer is detected in its later stages. The surgery is often followed by a reconstruction treatment.
#2 Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is an age old technique to destroy cancerous cells. In this treatment, high energy rays are used to burn the tumor present in the affected area. Radiation therapy is often performed in two different ways as follows:
- External Beam Radiation (EBR): The EBR is an usual way to give radiation therapy to a breast cancer patient. In this breast cancer treatment, a beam of radiation is focused on the affected area by an external machine. The radiation and extent of the treatment is usually decided by the doctors based on the health of the patient, surgical procedures performed, stage detected, and whether the lymph nodes were affected or not.
- Brachytherapy: In this kind of radiation therapy, instead of rays, radioactive seeds or pellets are implanted next to the cancer. These seed or pellets then help in destroying the infected cells and thus curb the cancer. However, Brachytherapy cannot be performed on everybody and has its own side effects.
One of the most commonly known treatments for breast cancer includes chemotherapy. This treatment usually includes use of medications that are often given to the patients by mouth or through the bloodstream by intravenous injections. However, there are many different ways chemotherapy is performed and following are some of them.
- Adjuvant Chemotherapy
- Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
- Advanced Cancer Chemotherapy
#4 Biological Therapy
Biological therapy is a treatment in which several drugs are used to change the way cancer cells interact. These drugs generally stop the cancer cells from sending signals that make them divide and grow.
The biological therapy is one of the best breast cancer treatments since it uses the body’s immune system to fight breast cancer unlike chemotherapy which directly attacks the cancer cells. Hence, the side-effects of biological therapy for breast cancer are negligible as compared to chemotherapy.
#5 Hormone Blocking Therapy
As the name says, hormone blocking therapy is usually performed to help reduce the risk of breast cancer reoccurrence. Often performed after surgery, this treatment is used as a neoadjuvant treatment that has come back after treatment.
Estrogen today remains one of the major causes of breast cancer. Most often, after menopause, smaller amounts of estrogen are still made in the body’s fat tissue. Hence, by performing the hormone therapy treatment, it either stops estrogen from acting on the breast cancer cells or lowers the estrogen levels in the body.
#6 Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapy usually makes use of some highly efficient drugs that work differently from the usual chemotherapy drugs. Most often, the drugs given during the targeted therapy help in slowing the growth of cancer cells and also stimulate the immune system to more effectively attack the tumor.
#7 Bone Directed Therapy
As the name says, bone directed therapy is usually given to the breast cancer patients if the cancer spreads to their bones. Such cancer causes severe pain and can lead into bone fractures and other problems. In bone directed therapy, several drugs are given to the patients to lower such risks.
The above mentioned treatments are some of the highly used and preferred breast cancer treatments by the health professionals. These treatments for breast cancer are often given with the patient is diagnosed with the symptoms of breast cancer.
Hope the above information on breast cancer treatments provide you adequate knowledge and help you take adequate preventions. Please feel free to mention any other treatments for breast cancer if we have missed any of them in the below comment box.