Breast Cancer Treatment: What You Need To Know
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that affects the breast tissue. It’s the second most common cancer among women, with over 2 million new cases worldwide each year. While it can be a scary diagnosis, there are many treatment options available that can help you fight the disease and live a long, healthy life. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of breast cancer, as well as the most common treatment options.
Types of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can be divided into two main types: invasive and non-invasive. Non-invasive breast cancer, also known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), is when the cancer cells are located only in the milk ducts and have not spread to the surrounding tissue. Invasive breast cancer, on the other hand, is when the cancer cells have spread to the surrounding tissue and possibly to other parts of the body.
There are also different subtypes of breast cancer, which are determined by the type of cell that the cancer originates from. Some of the most common subtypes include:
- Ductal carcinoma: This is the most common type of breast cancer, and it originates in the milk ducts.
- Lobular carcinoma: This type of breast cancer originates in the lobules, which are the glands that produce milk.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: This is a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer that causes the breast to become red, swollen, and warm to the touch.
- Triple-negative breast cancer: This is a subtype of breast cancer that doesn’t have receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER2.
Breast Cancer Treatment Options
The treatment options for breast cancer depend on the type and stage of the cancer, as well as other factors such as age, overall health, and personal preferences. Some of the most common treatment options include:
- Surgery: Surgery is often the first line of treatment for breast cancer. The type of surgery depends on the stage and location of the cancer, but may include a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue) or a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast).
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is often used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. It may also be used as the primary treatment for non-invasive breast cancer.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of medication that is used to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery, or as the primary treatment for advanced breast cancer.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is used to block the hormones that fuel certain types of breast cancer. It may be used in combination with other treatments or as a standalone treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
In addition to these treatments, there are also a number of clinical trials that are exploring new treatments for breast cancer. These trials may offer patients access to new treatments that aren’t yet available to the general public.
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important to work closely with your healthcare team to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. With the right treatment, many women are able to beat breast cancer and live long, healthy lives.