Breast cancer treatment plans depend on the type of cancer, your stage of cancer(how advanced it is), your overall health and personal choices. Doctors specializing in different areas of cancer treatment—such as surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology—work together as a multidisciplinary team to decide a patient’s overall treatment plan that provides maximum benefit to the patient. Depending upon how advanced the disease is one may require other forms of treatment at times before and after the surgery as well. The various available treatment options are-
Surgery- Your doctor might opt for breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) or removal of the breast (mastectomy). Along with that either lymph node biopsy or lymph node dissection is done. Removing the lymph nodes helps to reduce the risk of your cancer coming back. Breast reconstruction surgery i.e creating a new breast shape using tissue from another part of your body or an implant can be done at the same time (immediate reconstruction) or later(delayed reconstruction) also.
Radiation Therapy-In this high-energy x-rays or other particles are used to destroy cancer cells. It is given to reduce the chances of recurrence of cancer. The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy i.e. radiation given from a machine outside the body. Many modern techniques are now able to decrease the side effects. So you should discuss with your radiotherapist the type of radiation and variously available schedules.
Chemotherapy- In this various drugs are given which end the growth and division of cancer cells. It may be given before surgery to shrink a large tumor and make surgery easier, It may also be given after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Hormonal Therapy– It is given in women with positive hormone receptor status. (ER-positive or PR-positive) Blocking the hormones can help prevent cancer from coming back.
Targeted Therapy and Immunotherapy– Targeted therapy targets cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival with minimal damage to the normal cells.
Holistic & Complementary Medicine– This includes meditation and yoga which help in addition to the regular medical treatment.
Thus, it is important to discuss all your treatment options, including their side effects, with your oncologist before deciding your treatment plan.