Breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer treatment

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be one of the most crippling moments for a woman but, research and medical technology have now made a long and normal life for cancer patients a reachable dream. Six different, tested options are available for treatment of breast cancer nowadays. The option best suited for the patient is decided by the cancer specialist based on the clinical examination of breast lump, results of various tests and the stage of cancer.

breast cancer checkSurgery

The commonest modality for breast cancer treatment is removal of the cancerous lump of cells surgically. Only the cancer surgeon decides which surgical procedure is suited for the patient based on the extent of spread of the cancer to the adjacent lymph nodes and chest wall tissues. One of thesesurgical procedures might be chosen by the surgeon-

  •  Lumpectomy- removal of only the cancerous lump of cells
  • Partial or total mastectomy- partial or complete removal of the affected breast surgically if the lump is very large.
  • Modified radical mastectomy- this surgery removes the affected breast along with lymph nodes along the arm, few muscles of chest lying below the breast and tissues lining them.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy and surgery

The lymph node most affected by the breast cancer is called as the Sentinel lymph node. It is detected using a radioactive dye injection. The lymph node that takes the radioactive dye the first is identified as the sentinel lymph node. A tiny bit of tissue is taken from this node by biopsy and the sample is sent for microscopic detection of cancer cells. The node biopsy is followed by removal of the breast tumour.

Radiation therapy

High energy rays like X-rays or gamma rays, when bombarded onto the cancer cells, they destroy these toxic cells. Radiotherapy can be given externally or

cellsstop them from growing and spreading to other organs. External radiation is delivered using machines that emit these high energy rays in a controlled fashion. The dosage of rays received by the cancer patient can be adjusted and controlled. Internal radiation is executed by using a radioactive substance delivered inside the body through a wire, catheter or a radioactive element. This can be extremely helpful in treatment of cancers that are still at an early stage.

Chemotherapy

Treatment of cancer using special drugs is called as chemotherapy. The therapy aims at destroying the cells and/or preventing them from multiplying. Chemotherapy can be delivered orally or injected through a vein directly into the blood stream, allowing the drug to reach every cancer cell of the body. This is termed Systemic Chemotherapy. In cancers which are localized, Regional chemotherapy may be prescribed so the drugs are delivered directly only to the site of cancer i.e. brain, bone, etc.

Hormone therapy

Certain cancers are known to spread or worsen due to hormones. Thus, hormone therapies aim at blocking the production or action of hormones in our body to prevent growth of the cancer cells. In breast cancer, the glands called ovaries that produce the hormones estrogen are artificially destroyed to stop estrogen production that is known to worsen breast cancer.

Targeted therapy

Research has led to identification of cells that specifically attack cancer cells. E.g. monoclonal antibodies, PARP inhibitors, etc. These are created artificially and delivered to the patient to treat breast cancer. E.g. Trastuzumab, etc.

Experienced physicians, trained especially to manage and treat breast cancer from the Euromedic Healthcare network ensure that breast cancer is not an end for the patient, but a new beginning.

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