- What to Know About Your Treatment Choices for Breast Cancer
The good news is that breast cancer can be treated successfully. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or any combination of these. Here's a closer look at each.
- Stages of Breast Cancer
When breast cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will order tests to find out if the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This is called staging and is an important step toward planning a treatment program.
- What to Know About Surgery for Breast Cancer
- Surgery for Breast Cancer Treatment
Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today, women have many surgical options and choices.
- Tips for Feeling Your Best During Treatment for Breast Cancer
- Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction surgery involves creating a breast mound that comes as close as possible to the form and appearance of the natural breast.
- Lymphedema Following a Mastectomy
Whenever the normal drainage pattern in the lymph nodes is disturbed or damaged—often during surgery to remove the lymph nodes—the arm may swell. This swelling, caused by too much fluid, is called lymphedema.
- Post-Mastectomy Prosthesis
A prosthesis can be worn against the skin, inside the pocket of a mastectomy bra, or attached to the chest wall. Prosthetic devices are designed to look feminine and be comfortable.
- Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy is a process that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. Radiation done after surgery can kill cancer cells that may not be seen during surgery.
- Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
Your oncologist will determine how long and how often you will have chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously or by pill, and is usually a combination of drugs.
- Other Treatments for Breast Cancer
Other treatments for breast cancer include hormone therapy, used to prevent the growth, spread, and recurrence of the cancer, adjuvant therapy, and biological therapy.
- About Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen has been used to treat both advanced and early stage breast cancer. More recently, tamoxifen is being used as an additional therapy following primary treatment for early stage breast cancer.
- About Taxol
Taxol, or paclitaxel, is a drug used for treating certain women who have advanced breast or ovarian cancer. Paclitaxel is a compound that is extracted from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.
- About Clinical Trials: Information from the National Cancer Institute
Clinical trials are studies, managed by government agencies, educational institutions, private not-for-profit organizations, or commercial businesses, to develop, produce, and evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments and therapies for diseases.
- Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT)
BCPT was a clinical trial that studied tamoxifen as a prevention therapy for those at high risk for breast cancer. Data showed the results of tamoxifen treatment to be "highly significant," with a 49 percent reduction in the number of invasive breast cancers seen across all age groups.
- Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR)
STAR was a clinical trial of the drug raloxifene that included more than 19,000 postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer. The results showed that raloxifene worked as well as tamoxifen at reducing breast cancer risk.
- Hope on the Horizon for Breast Cancer
In recent years, researchers have discovered new and better ways to detect and treat breast cancer—and to keep it from coming back.