Treatments of Breast Cancer
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
Most patients with breast cancer need to get a surgery done in order to get the cancer removed from the breast. Few lymph nodes under the arm are taken out to check if they contain cancer cells. In order to remove the tumor, chemotherapy may be given before surgery. This will shrink the tumor and reduce the amount of tissue that needs that needs to be removed.
Medicines are used to weaken and destroy cancer cells at the original cancer site and any other cells that may have spread to another part of the body. This affects the entire body. Generally a combination of two or more medicines is used.
3. Radiation Therapy
Another name for radiation therapy is radiotherapy. The cancer cells that stick around after surgery can be destroyed by radiotherapy. This is relatively easy to tolerate and the side effects are also very limited. It can cause surface burns or irritations which can be treated.
4. Hormonal Therapy
Hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers are treated by hormonal therapy in two ways:
• Lower the hormone estrogen in the body
• Block the action of estrogen on breast cancer cells
Ovaries make most of the estrogen in the female body which can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer grow. The risk of early-stage hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers can be reduced by reducing the amount of estrogen or blocking its action.
5. Targeted Therapies
A treatment that targets specific characteristics of cancer cells, such as protein that allows the cancer cells to grow in a rapid or abnormal way is called Targeted Therapy. Unlike chemotherapy, targeted therapies do not harm normal and healthy cells.
6. Complementary and Holistic Medicine
In order to balance the whole person – physically, mentally, and emotionally, complementary medicine is used, while conventional medicines keep doing its work. Complementary medicine might help to relieve symptoms, ease treatment side effects, and improve quality of life.
A highly attractive alternative approach to disease management is followed by manipulating the immune system to recognize and eradicate breast tumor cells. Multiple advantages can be derived by way of active immunization.
The median tumor shrinkage in thermo chemotherapy was increased to 88.4% by adding the Medi-focus heat treatment to Standard of Care (SOC), whereas the shrinkage was 58.8% for chemotherapy alone.
9. Alternative Treatments
Women suffering from breast cancer are now being treated by doctors with a procedure known as cryoablation. Under this treatment, small needles are used to defrost tumors which are earlier frozen so that only the harmful tissue is damaged. Limited hospital visits and reduced care are the advantages of this technique.
10. Psychological Help
Dealing with cancer is not easy for patients and their families and can bring emotional and practical difficulties. This treatment often helps you to express your feelings and talk about your difficulties with a trained counselor or therapist which gives immeasurable mental relief.