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Treatment of Breast Cancer

There are many options for breast cancer treatment, and you may feel overwhelmed as you make complex decisions about your treatment. Consider seeking a second opinion from a breast specialist in a breast center or clinic. Talk to other women who have faced the same decision.

1. Surgery
Most women with breast cancer have some type of surgery. Surgery is often needed to remove a breast tumor. Options for this include breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy. Mastectomy is surgery to remove the entire breast. All of the breast tissue is removed, sometimes along with other nearby tissues. Breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy or done later on. Surgery is also used to check the lymph nodes under the arm for cancer spread.

Side effects of surgery can include pain, temporary swelling, tenderness, and hard scar tissue that forms in the surgical site. As with all operations, bleeding and infection at the surgery site are also possible.

2. Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is treatment with high energy rays or particles that destroy cancer cells. this treatment may be used to kill any cancer cells that remain in the breast, chest wall, or underarm area after breast-conserving surgery. radiation may also be needed after mastectomy in patients with either a cancer larger than 5 cm in size. or when cancer is found in lymph nodes.

3. Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy also known simply as chemo, is a treatment with cancer killing drugs that may be given intravenously (injected into vein) or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Chemo is given in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a recovery period. This treatment usually lasts for several months. Chemotherapy is very serious so do you research on chemo side effects before taking any treatments.

4. Hormone therapy
Hormone therapy — perhaps more properly termed hormone-blocking therapy — is often used to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones. Doctors sometimes refer to these cancers as estrogen receptor positive (ER positive) and progesterone receptor positive (PR positive) cancers.

Hormone therapy can be used after surgery or other treatments to decrease the chance of your cancer returning. If the cancer has already spread, hormone therapy may shrink and control it.

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