Breast Cancer Treatments
Breast cancer treatment plan is based on both medical and personal choices. It is tailored to:
– Your specific breast cancer (the biology of the tumor)
– The stage of the breast cancer
– Other medical issues
– Your personal preferences
Because of the differences between tumors and between people, your treatment plan may differ from another person’s, even though you both have breast cancer.
Each treatment option has risks and benefits to consider along with your own values and lifestyle.
Breast cancer treatment can be divided into two parts: local and systemic.
Local treatments: treat the tumor without affecting the rest of the body. Types of local therapy used for breast cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
These treatments are more likely to be useful for earlier stage (less advanced) cancers, although they might also be used in some other situations.
Systemic treatments: treat the tumor with the use of drugs they can be given by mouth or directly into the bloodstream. These are called systemic therapies because they can reach cancer cells anywhere in the body. Depending on the type of breast cancer, several different types of drugs might be used, including:
- Hormonal therapy
- Targeted therapy
Many women will get more than one type of treatment for their cancer.
The exact treatment for breast cancer varies from person to person. Treatment guidelines based on the latest research and consensus of experts, help ensure quality care.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are two respected organizations that regularly update and post their guidelines online.