After being diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have many questions about what will come next. The answers to these concerns will depend on the location and stage of the cancer as well as your medical eligibility for certain treatments. There are several different therapies used in breast cancer treatment, and a few are discussed in more detail below to help you understand how they might be incorporated in your treatment plan.
Surgery: Surgery for breast cancer can be as simple as the removal of the cancerous tissue in a lumpectomy, but it may require the more extensive excavation of most or all of the breast tissue in a mastectomy. The exact surgery required, if any is needed at all, will be thoroughly discussed with you by your surgical oncologist.
Radiation therapy: When surgery is not appropriate, or when follow-up care is needed after surgery, radiation is an option that can shrink remaining cancer cells. Radiation therapy may take place through internal methods in which a radiation emitting device is temporarily implanted into the breast, or external radiation can take place through targeted therapy sourced from outside of the body.
Hormonal therapy: In many cases, breast cancer is estrogen sensitive, so hormonal therapies can be used to hinder the growth of the cancer cells that bind to estrogen in the body. This therapy utilizes estrogen-blocking drugs that prevent the spread of cancerous cells that rely on their bond to the hormone to grow.
Chemotherapy: If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other areas of the body, chemotherapy may be recommended to fight the cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs, which are administered intravenously or orally, kill rapidly-growing cells in the body including cancer cells.
To find more information about each of these treatment options, visit Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. Contact us on our website or call (504) 988-5263 to connect with our advanced Breast Health Center featuring several medical specialists who offer personalized care for all types of breast cancer cases.