Cancer Information

Aug 20, 2009 5:16 PM

Breast Cancer Treatments

Surgery

Biopsy of a suspicious area of the breast is generally done to establish that it is cancer. Once the biopsy has been done, decisions regarding treatment should include discussions with the surgeon, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist. Surgical approaches may include stereotactic biopsy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, removing the entire breast (mastectomy), a portion of the breast (lumpectomy), and some or all of the lymph nodes under the arm.

Radiation Therapy

Many women with early breast cancer may be treated with limited surgery (lumpectomy) followed by radiation therapy. At St. Mary-Corwin, more than half the women with early breast cancer are now treated in this way. Preserving a normal or near-normal appearance while successfully treating the cancer is the goal of this treatment, and is often the preferred treatment.

Chemotherapy

During the past 20 years, the role of chemotherapy has dramatically changed in increasing the chance for a cure of breast cancer. Today, the majority of women with breast cancer may benefit from chemotherapy, which treats cancer cells that may have spread beyond the breast tissue. Most chemotherapy can be done as an outpatient, and is given by a medical oncologist. The Ambulatory Infusion Center at St. Mary-Corwin is available to administer chemotherapy.

Hormonal Therapy

Many women with breast cancer may be treated with drugs which block the effects of estrogen on breast cancer cells and which may slow or stop the growth of those cancers. One of the most common such drugs is Tamoxifen, which is now also being used to reduce the chance of developing breast cancer in those women who are at high risk.

Other Therapy

Not all medical treatment for breast cancer involves the use of chemotherapy or hormone therapy. As we learn more about the genetic alterations, which allow breast cancer to develop and grow, we also learn about new ways to stop its growth. Herceptin® is an antibody that can be used in some women whose cancers produce an excess of a specific protein that promotes growth. The use of this antibody is currently limited to women who have a recurrence of their cancer, but clinical studies will determine whether it may also benefit women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

»Comments

More News

Colorado
Story Photo

23 minutes ago

Falcon school fights to save student's life

FALCON- Aden Knar, a third grade student at Falcon Virtual Academy, is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. His school, Falcon Virtual Academy, will host a bone marrow donor drive tomorrow to help find a match Aden. Knar, 10, was diagnosed at age 4 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and entered remission in 2008. In November 2013, the Knar family learned that the leukemia had returned, and is now isolated in his bone marrow. In an outreach of support, Falcon Virtual Academy hosted a bone marrow donor drive in January, and will be hosting another tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 6113 Constitution Ave., directly west of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. "We wanted to reach out to the family again," said Jodi Fletcher, assistant principal. Fletcher explained that more than 250 people participated in the January drive, and she hopes to have similar numbers April 19. The money from a bake sale at the drive, and a portion of the proceeds raised from a spring formal...

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4