Breast Cancer Treatment – Breast cancer could be treated with a mastectomy or breast preservation surgery, lumpectomy, followed by radiation and sometimes chemotherapy. These are the very best ways to prevent reoccurrence of cancer. Probably the most common location for cancer to come back is within the same region where it was discovered the first time.
The determination of which treatment is best for an individual is based on the pathology of the illness. The initial biopsy, which is carried out when the cancer is initial suspected, will tell what type of cancer is present and whether it is hormone receptive. The understanding of hormone receptors, or not, discovered will be component of the decision generating info for an individual’s treatment. Some kinds of tumors are stimulated by normal hormones found in a woman’s body, like progesterone, estrogen, and HER-2. A tumor might show a positive response to 1 or much more of these hormones. By understanding this info, a strategy of treatment can be provided which will enhance a woman’s chances of cancer free survival.
The pathology from the surgery, done to eliminate the cancer tumor, will tell if the entire tumor was removed and if cancer was found within the lymph nodes. Throughout surgery the surgeon can see the cancer tumor, but not all the cancer cells can be visualized. So the tumor is sent to a pathologist who puts the tumor and also the surrounding tissue that was removed by the surgeon under a microscope. This way cancer cells that might be outside the main tumor can be seen. The lymph nodes that had been removed in surgery can also be looked at under a microscope and it can be determined if you will find cancer cells discovered in the lymph nodes. Frequently a Sentinel Node could be discovered, if a dye is utilized before surgery. This dye is injected prior to surgery and will show which node is the primary node that drains fluid from the cancer tumor website. (The lymphatic system drains non blood fluids throughout the body.)
If lymph nodes are found to have cancer cells inside them the cancer has moved from the tumor site to other areas within the body. This movement of cancer cells away from the tumor indicates metastasis, or stray cancer cells that are traveling in the body. The final pathology will provide a lot information about the kind of cancer, the location of the cancer and how greatest to treat the cancer to offer a cancer totally free life for the woman.
Breast Cancer Treatment – A woman who has been diagnosed with cancer, from a biopsy, then will see a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer. Surgery to eliminate the tumor is always needed, so long as the tumor is within the breast it’ll grow and chances are the cancer cells will travel away from the primary tumor and spread throughout the body. These cells that move away from the main tumor will settle and grow into tumors in other parts of the body, not just the breast. The surgeon will ask questions about the woman’s well being and ask about the woman’s family members. If a woman has family members members that have, or have had breast cancer, this information will probably be included in treatment decisions. The surgeon then will discuss methods to treat the cancer. A mastectomy which is really a removal of the breast that has the cancer in it, with 1 or more lymph nodes removed is one choice. A lumpectomy which is removal of the cancer tumor along with a little amount of tissue surrounding the tumor is an additional option. The size of the tumor, determined by the mammogram, will influence these options. If the tumor is big a lumpectomy might not be a good option. The smaller the tumor, the much better the chances of survival for the woman. The larger the tumor the much more involved the surgery will need to be, like a mastecomy. Occasionally chemotherapy is needed before surgery; the chemotherapy will hopefully shrink the tumor and kill cancer cells that might have moved away from the main tumor (metastasized). When this is carried out prior to the surgery, the hope is that after surgery most or all of the cancer will probably be gone and only radiation will probably be required. Chemotherapy may be required after surgery depending on the kind and stage of the cancer.
Frequently the surgeon will ask a woman to see a radiation oncologist prior to her surgery. This consultation will permit the radiation oncologist, another cancer doctor who specializes in radiation, to review the woman’s case and to provide choices of treatment. The choices this doctor may offer are whole breast radiation after surgery, or partial breast radiation following surgery, or no radiation if a woman has a mastectomy and no cancer cells are discovered outside the breast that was removed in surgery.
1 type of partial breast radiation is brachytherapy. Breast brachytherapy has been available for some time, but not all doctors are familiar with it. Brachytherapy of the breast is really a good choice for some women. The size of the tumor and the location of the tumor are two of the determinations if this is really a great option. If the cancer is discovered out side of the breast, brachytherapy is not a option for a woman. Brachytherapy is radiation given to the area where the cancer tumor was. This is where most cancers come back, in the exact same area they had been to begin with. Brachytherapy could be given over five days, where as whole breast radiation if given over 6 weeks. This is an benefit for ladies who don’t live near a cancer treatment center, ladies who live busy lives (most ladies do), or ladies who don’t want to prolong their treatments. When a woman chooses breast brachytherapy the applicator which will allow radiation to go correct into the space where the cancer was; is placed at the time of surgery. Brachy indicates close. It is an additional advantage of brachytherapy. Only the tissue around where the cancer tumor was is radiated; the normal tissue is exposed either not at all or to such a low level of radiation it is not affected by the radiation.