Treatment

Treatment options are based on the type of breast cancer, its stage and grade, whether the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones, overall health and patient preferences. Most women undergo surgery for breast cancer and also receive additional treatment, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biologic therapy or radiation. Patients who have no detectable cancer after surgery are often given additional treatment to help keep the cancer from coming back. This is known as adjuvant therapy. Both systemic therapy (like chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy) and radiation can be used as adjuvant therapy. Some patients are given treatment, such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy, before surgery. The goal of this treatment is to shrink the tumor in the hope it will allow a less extensive operation to be done. This is called neoadjuvant therapy. Many patients who get neoadjuvant therapy may not need adjuvant therapy.    

In early stage breast cancer (Stage I and II) surgery (either a mastectomy or breast conservation consisting of lumpectomy and radiation) is the standard of care because the tumor is still contained in the breast and may be in nearby lymph nodes. Depending on the size of the tumor, histology, receptor status and lymph node involvement patients may then need adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation. In locally advanced breast cancer (Stage III) the cancer still hasn't spread far beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes. However, in this stage there typically are many lymph nodes involved or the tumor is so large it extends to the chest wall or involves the skin of the breast. Surgery continues to play an important role and chemotherapy may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor and may also be given additionally after surgery. Radiation is usually always recommended after a lumpectomy in this stage and depending on the final histology of the tumor and nodes it may also be recommended after a mastectomy.

In stage IV breast cancer, the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body. Commonly affected areas may include the bones, brain, lungs, or liver. Because multiple areas may be involved, focused treatments like surgery or radiation alone may not be sufficient. Usually chemotherapy is the cornerstone of therapy for this stage of breast cancer and helps to slow down the growth of the cancer. So far, treatment of stage IV breast cancer does not provide a cure for the disease. By shrinking the cancer, treatment can slow down the disease, improve quality of life and help to improve overall survival. Although patients with stage IV breast cancer may live for years, it is usually life-threatening at some point in the disease process.

2006 Treatment Combinations

Next: Survival >

This Draft Has Sidebar Blocks
Sidebar Block 1
2012 Breast Cancer
Report
Sidebar Block 2
Sidebar Block 3
Sidebar Block 4
Manatee Memorial Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.      

Manatee Memorial Hospital

206 Second Street East
Bradenton, FL 34208

PRIVACY POLICY / HIPAA STATEMENT / PHYSICIAN DISCLAIMER
© 2014 Manatee Memorial Hospital. All rights reserved.

Note:The information on this website is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither Manatee Memorial Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this website.      

The information, content and artwork provided by this Web site is intended for non-commercial use by the reader. The reader is permitted to make one copy of the information displayed for his/her own non-commercial use. The making of additional copies is prohibited.