How Is Treatment Personalized
Although treatment is becoming more personalized, we cant predict how any one person will respond to a certain treatment.
Treatment is personalized based on the groups a person belongs to rather than to a specific person.
The results of clinical trials show us which therapies are most effective in which groups of people. If a certain therapy is effective in a group you belong to, then your treatment plan may be personalized to include that therapy.
If Cancer Is Found Tests Are Done To Study The Cancer Cells
- how quickly the cancer may grow.
- how likely it is that the cancer will spread through the body.
- how well certain treatments might work.
- how likely the cancer is to recur .
Tests include the following:
Based on these tests, breast cancer is described as one of the following types:
This information helps the doctor decide which treatments will work best for your cancer.
There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
- TX: Primary tumor cannot be assessed.
- T0: No sign of a primary tumor in the breast.
- Tis: Carcinoma in situ. There are 2 types of breast carcinoma in situ:
- Tis : DCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive breast cancer that is able to spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions can become invasive.
- Tis : Paget disease of the nipple is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the skin cells of the nipple and may spread to the areola. It is not staged according to the TNM system. If Paget disease AND an invasive breast cancer are present, the TNM system is used to stage the invasive breast cancer.
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Medical Treatment For Breast Cancer
Breast cancer medical treatment involves a variety of therapies to kill cancer cells, stop them from growing, attack some of their specific characteristics, or decrease the chance of them returning. These treatments are also known as systemic therapies, meaning treatments using substances that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and affecting cells all over the body.
Medical treatments include:
We also offer access to medical treatment clinical trials to patients with all stages of breast cancer.
Treatments For Breast Cancer
If you have breast cancer, your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma, your healthcare team will consider:
- the stage
- if you have reached menopause
- the hormone receptor status of the cancer
- the HER2 status of the cancer
- the risk that the cancer will come back, or recur
- your overall health
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Stage 2 Breast Cancer
Stage 2 breast cancers are larger than stage 1 tumors, and the cancer cells have spread and have been found in a few nearby lymph nodes.
If you are in stage 2, your cancer may be categorized as stage 2A or 2B. The secondary classification is based on the tumors size and spread. Treatment typically starts with breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy. Your surgeon may remove some lymph nodes to examine the spread of the cancer cells. Radiation is often needed because the cancer has begun spreading to your lymph nodes.
Your care team may recommend systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy, HER2 drugs or hormone therapy, before and/or after surgery.
Pre-surgery treatments may help shrink a tumor enough that it may be removed through a breast conservation procedure.
How Can I Protect Myself From Breast Cancer
Follow these three steps for early detection:
- Get a mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends having a baseline mammogram at age 35, and a screening mammogram every year after age 40. Mammograms are an important part of your health history. Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force came out with new recommendations regarding when and how often one should have mammograms. These include starting at age 50 and having them every two years. We do not agree with this, but we are in agreement with the American Cancer Society and have not changed our guidelines, which recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40.
- Examine your breasts each month after age 20. You will become familiar with the contours and feel of your breasts and will be more alert to changes.
- Have your breast examined by a healthcare provider at least once every three years after age 20, and every year after age 40. Clinical breast exams can detect lumps that may not be detected by mammogram.
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After Breast Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Breast Or To Other Parts Of The Body
The process used to find out whether the cancer has spread within the breast or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines thestage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. The results of some of the tests used to diagnosebreast cancer are also used to stage the disease.
The following tests and procedures also may be used in the staging process:
Radiotherapy For Breast Cancer
Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. You usually have 3 weeks of radiotherapy after having breast conserving surgery. But in some hospitals, you may have this treatment over a shorter time.
Some people might have radiotherapy after a mastectomy. This depends on the stage of the cancer.
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The Tnm System The Grading System And Biomarker Status Are Combined To Find Out The Breast Cancer Stage
Here are 3 examples that combine the TNM system, the grading system, and the biomarker status to find out the Pathological Prognostic breast cancer stage for a woman whose first treatment was surgery:
If the tumor size is 30 millimeters , has not spread to nearby lymph nodes , has not spread to distant parts of the body , and is:
- Grade 1
The cancer is stage IV .
What Is Breast Cancer
Cells in the body normally divide only when new cells are needed. Sometimes, cells in a part of the body grow and divide out of control, which creates a mass of tissue called a tumor. If the cells that are growing out of control are normal cells, the tumor is called benign. If, however, the cells that are growing out of control are abnormal and don’t function like the body’s normal cells, the tumor is called malignant .
Cancers are named after the part of the body from which they originate. Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into the tissue surrounding the breast. It can also travel to other parts of the body and form new tumors, a process called metastasis.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
Like many conditions, risk factors for breast cancer fall into the categories of things you can control and things that you cannot control. Risk factors affect your chances of getting a disease, but having a risk factor does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a certain disease.
Controllable risk factors for breast cancer
- Alcohol consumption. The risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, women who consume two or three alcoholic beverages daily have an approximately 20% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
- Body weight. Being obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. It is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Breast implants. Having silicone breast implants and resulting scar tissue make it harder to distinguish problems on regular mammograms. It is best to have a few more images to improve the examination. There is also a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma that is associated with the implants.
- Choosing not to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding can raise the risk.
- Using hormone-based prescriptions. This includes using hormone replacement therapy during menopause for more than five years and taking certain types of birth control pills.
Non-controllable risk factors for breast cancer
The Use Of Certain Medicines And Other Factors Decrease The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Anything that decreases your chance of getting a disease is called a protective factor.
Protective factors for breast cancer include the following:
- Taking any of the following:
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What Are The Treatments For Breast Cancer
Treatments for breast cancer include
- Surgery such as
- A mastectomy, which removes the whole breast
- A lumpectomy to remove the cancer and some normal tissue around it, but not the breast itself
New Study: How Olive Oil May Prevent And Treat Breast Cancer
We hear more and more about the newly discovered health benefits of olive oil.
But did you know that research now shows a connection between regular consumption of olive oil and prevention and treatment of breast cancer?
Researchers from Spain, at the University of Jaéns Hospital Unit for the Clinical Management of Medical Oncology have been searching for a substance which inhibits cancer cell reproduction when they found this out:
A chemical compound found in olives and olive leaves called Hydroxytyrosol, one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature, was used in a recent study to try to treat cancer.
The study used Hydroxytyrosol to treat a certain type of aggressive breast cancer called Triple negative breast cancer.
The findings revealed that hydroxytyrosol acts directly upon breast cancer stem cells, reducing their number and aggressiveness as well as inhibiting their capacity to multiply.
Since about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. may develop breast cancer, this research is very important and may bring hope for the development of new treatments.
A more detailed report can be found at Olive Oil Times.
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Surgery To The Lymph Nodes
Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body. It usually first spreads to the lymph nodes in the armpit close to the breast. You usually have an ultrasound scan to look at the lymph nodes in the armpit. You may also have a lymph node biopsy.
You might have surgery to the lymph nodes. This may be a sentinel lymph node biopsy where the surgeon removes 1 to 3 nodes. Or you may have an axillary clearance, where more nodes are taken out.
Is Inoperable Breast Cancer Still Treatable
Although stage 3C breast cancer is defined as either operable or inoperable, an inoperable diagnosis doesnt necessarily mean that it cant be treated.
The term inoperable may mean that all the cancer in the breast and surrounding tissue cant be removed through simple surgery. When breast cancer is removed, a rim of healthy tissue around the tumor, called a margin, is also removed.
For breast cancer to be successfully removed, there needs to be healthy tissue in all margins of the breast, from your clavicle down to a few inches below the breast mound.
It is possible for inoperable breast cancer to become operable following a treatment to shrink the cancer.
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What Does Stage 3 Mean
Because stage 3 breast cancer has spread outside the breast, it can be harder to treat than earlier stage breast cancer, though that depends on a few factors.
With aggressive treatment, stage 3 breast cancer is curable however, the risk that the cancer will grow back after treatment is high.
Doctors further divide stage 3 cancer into the following stages:
Getting A Second Opinion
Treatment decisions can be complicated and confusing. You can ask for a second opinion if you would like to get another doctor’s view about your treatment. This means going to see another specialist. They will need to see all your test results and x-rays.
Having a second opinion doesn’t usually mean that the new doctor takes over your treatment and care. They discuss with you and your current doctor which is the best treatment approach to take.
If you want to get a second opinion, your doctor will usually be happy to arrange it for you. It can take time to arrange though and it might mean that your treatment is delayed for a while.
It is worth discussing your treatment again with your current specialist first. Once you have heard why they are suggesting particular treatments for you, you might feel that you don’t need a second opinion.
It is always a good idea to jot down a few questions before you go to the hospital for an appointment with your specialist. It can be difficult to remember everything you want to ask once you get there. Writing down your questions beforehand can help you to feel more confident during the discussion.
Certain Factors Affect Prognosis And Treatment Options
The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer .
- The type of breast cancer.
- Estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor levels in the tumor tissue.
- Human epidermal growth factor type 2 receptor levels in the tumor tissue.
- Whether the tumor tissue is triple negative .
- How fast the tumor is growing.
- How likely the tumor is to recur .
- A womans age, general health, and menopausal status .
- Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred .
Learning That Less Is More
Two generations ago, when a woman was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had a radical mastectomy a grueling procedure to remove the breast, the underlying chest muscle and the lymph nodes. This caused incredible disfigurement. A major step forward came in the 1960s when a randomized clinical trial showed that a simple mastectomy that left the chest muscle intact resulted in similar survival.
It was the beginning of realizing that sometimes less is more.
Its hard to pull back on treatment. It takes a certain type of patient and a certain type of bravery to be willing to forgo treatment in order to help determine if thats an option for future generations, says Anne Schott, M.D., professor of internal medicine and associate director of clinical research at the U-M Rogel Cancer Center.
Over time, studies have allowed surgeons to scale back treatment even more. Lumpectomy followed by radiation is just as effective as mastectomy. Many women do not need all their axillary lymph nodes removed, a procedure that can cause severe swelling and serious infections.
Weve come to understand that radical surgical treatment is not universally beneficial, says Jacqueline Jeruss, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Breast Care Center at the U-M Rogel Cancer Center.
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Treatment Of Metastatic Disease
MSK physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals are experts in breast cancer surgery, reconstruction, radiation oncology and more.
Women with metastatic breast cancer may receive various systemic therapies to control the disease. These include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biologics, immunotherapies, other targeted agents, or combinations of these.
The choice of treatments depends on certain characteristics of your breast cancer tumor type, such as hormone receptors, HER2/neu status, and the location of the disease.
ChemotherapyThere are a large number of chemotherapy drugs that work in many different ways. In a very general sense, these drugs can help you fight breast cancer by interrupting the growth and spread of cancer cells. Each of them works in a somewhat different fashion and their dose, schedule, and use, either alone or in combinations, can lead to different levels of effectiveness.
Tips To Help You Choose
Although there are some typical breast cancer treatment regimens, women do have choices.
- Talk with your doctor about all the risks and benefits of each treatment option and how they will affect your lifestyle.
- Think about joining a support group. Other people with breast cancer know what youâre going through and can give you advice and understanding. They might help you decide on a treatment, too.
- Ask your doctor whether you should join a clinical trial, a research study that tests new treatments before theyâre available to everyone.
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