Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer which affects women today. Let us take a look at the different possible treatments for this type of cancer. In most cases of breast cancer an immediate surgery is prescribed, once the biopsy confirms breast cancer. However, the patient is given some time to understand and evaluate what the different treatment options are, as also time to seek any second opinion if they wish for one. Whatever is the situation, it is best to make a fast decision so as to avoid the cancer from spreading any further.
There are two types of surgeries normally associated with the treatment of breast cancer. What surgery will be prescribed in any particular case will depend on the amount of damage the cancer tissues have already done and the estimated further damage they can cause.
The first type of surgery is mastectomy which involves complete removal of the breast. Till a few years back the most popular approach was to remove not just the breast but also the chest muscles right underneath the breast as well as the lymph nodes found around the arm. However in the latest mastectomy practice neither the chest muscles nor the lymph nodes present under the arm are removed, that means only the affected breast will be removed.
The other surgery option Lumpectomy can be understood as a small brother to mastectomy, wherein only the tumor or the cancer tissues are locally removed trying to preserve as much of the breast as can be possible. So it’s only a small portion of the breast that is removed which includes the cancer tissues as also some of the surrounding tissues which have a chance of getting affected. In certain cases Lumpectomy may be accompanied by the removal of the lymph node present in your underarm, followed by a session of the radiation therapy. The radiation therapy is primarily targeted at eliminating the leftover cancer cells which could not be extracted in the surgery.
While surgery is the first option, chemotherapy is also an option that finds use in the more advanced stages of breast cancer. This option may also be used in case of a fairly early detection of breast cancer to avoid an invasive surgery. Chemotherapy involves the use of anticancer drugs and certain hormones to treat breast cancer.