A “standard of care” is a treatment accepted and widely used by medical experts to treat particular diseases. There are several ways to treat breast cancer depending on its type and extent. Therefore, treatments for breast cancer are often a combination of various therapies and approaches.
Discover more about the available options for breast cancer treatment.
Cancer of the breast occurs when cells proliferate there. It is one of the most common cancers in women. Despite being more common in women, breast cancer can also occur in men.
Due to advances in medical research and development in treatment techniques, it is possible to diagnose and treat breast cancer better with more positive outcomes. As a result, as the number of deaths associated with breast cancer declines, survival rates have increased. Early detection, individualized treatment, and a better understanding of the disease contribute to this.
Breast cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of breast cells. A lump or mass is formed when these cells divide rapidly. In many cases, it may spread to other body parts (metastasis).
Ductal carcinoma is the most common form of breast cancer. However, breast cancer may also develop in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissues in the breast.
Several factors may increase your risk of breast cancer, including hormonal, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Your genetic makeup and the environment likely play a role in the development of breast cancer.
Your doctor determines the extent of your breast cancer (stage) once it has been diagnosed. It is imperative to determine the location of your cancer to decide what treatment options are best for you.
The following tests and procedures may be used to stage breast cancer:
- A complete blood count.
- Check for signs of cancer with a mammogram.
- Breast MRI.
- Bone scan.
- Computerised tomography (CT) scan.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
These tests and procedures are not necessary for everyone. Tests are selected by your doctor based on your medical history and symptoms.
There are four stages of breast cancer, with stage 0 meaning it is not invasive or contained within the milk ducts. The fourth stage of breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer, indicates that cancer has spread to other body parts. Your cancer’s grade, tumor markers, such as estrogen and progesterone receptors, and proliferation factors are all considered when staging your cancer.
Your doctor determines your treatment options depending on the type of breast cancer, the stage, grade, size, and sensitivity to hormones. Besides considering your overall health, your physician will also consider your preferences.
In most cases, women are treated with surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation after surgery for breast cancer. In certain circumstances, chemotherapy might also be used before surgery.
Below are the top 5 types of breast cancer treatments that every patient should know about:
- Surgery: The cancer tissue is surgically removed.
- Chemotherapy: Cancer cells are shrunk or killed using specific medicines. Medications can be taken orally, injected into your veins, or both.
- Hormonal therapy: Inhibits the growth of cancer cells by blocking their access to hormones.
- Biological therapy: Controls side effects of other cancer treatments by working with your body’s immune system.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill cancer cells.
When making decisions about your treatment for breast cancer, you may feel overwhelmed. A breast cancer specialist in a clinic or breast center may be able to offer you a second opinion. If you are facing the same decision as another woman, consider talking to her.
In addition to conventional cancer treatments, complementary and alternative medicines may also be prescribed. Supplemental therapy is used alongside standard treatments, while alternative medicine is used in place of traditional therapies. A few examples include meditation, yoga, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Alternative and complementary medicine may not be safe since many types have yet to be scientifically tested. If you are considering starting complementary or alternative medicine, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Should this section be allowed?
You may find it challenging to choose the proper treatment for you. Find out what treatment options are available for your cancer type and stage from your doctor. Each treatment’s risks, benefits, and side effects can be explained to you by your doctor. A side effect is your body’s reaction to a drug or treatment. People sometimes consult with more than one cancer doctor. A second opinion may help you choose the proper treatment.