All cancers of the body are a hopeless game if life and death. Patients go through an endless struggle and in the end, some of them are lucky enough to survive and others just let go. Breast cancer is becoming a very common occurrence among urban women, thanks to their unhealthy lifestyles and late conception.
While going through an assessment of the types of breast cancer, we are made aware that the most dangerous types of breast cancers are the ones which are very aggressive and spread faster than the others. In such cases, the treatment method too has to be very aggressive so that the patient’s life can be saved and she stands a chance to survive. Discussed below are the various forms of treatment methods adopted for aggressive breast cancer.
Treatment Methods Adopted For Aggressive Breast Cancer
Therapy for Controlling the Spread
Aggressive breast cancer has symptoms that are varied than the normal breast cancer. There may not be any lump formation in the case of an inflammatory cancer in the initial stage. It could just be a redness, itchiness and flaky skin with dimpling of the skin etc. depending on the type of cancer. To contain the growth of such cancers, which is fast moving, neoadjuvant therapy is done.
This is a fast treatment method which mainly aims at reducing and stopping the growth of cancer cells immediately. Though it involves a combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, it is much different from the conventional breast cancer treatment. Once the cancerous tumour is successfully reduced in size, a surgery is undertaken to remove the breast tissues.
Surgery to Control Lymphatic Spread
As aggressive breast cancers spread fast, most treatment method involves the removal of lymph nodes through surgery. By assessing the lymph in the lymph nodes, the surgeon will be able to check the stage and the extent of the breast cancer and plan the treatment method adequately. The lymph node biopsy can assess the stage of the cancer and its type.
While the early stages of breast cancer might require only a lumpectomy which helps in retaining the shape of the breast, aggressive breast cancer cases might require a mastectomy or the entire removal of the breast tissue to remove large chunks of cancerous cells that have spread uncontrollably. Most inflammatory breast cancers and breast cancers that have metastasised will have cancer cells that have spread to many areas in the breast and hence difficult to remove surgically. Mastectomy will ensure that no cancer cells have been left in the breast for a recurrence.
In radiation therapy which is a targeted therapy, high power beams are directed at the cancer cells for destroying them. This will destroy any cancer cells which could be present in the area even after surgery. Radiation therapy is sometimes used before the surgery to shrink the tumour and make matters easy.
Chemotherapy drugs travel through the blood and destroy cancer cells that could have metastasised and those which are present in other parts of the body. These drugs are used after a surgical removal of the tumour and mostly along with radiation treatment to get the best results.
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