Treatment Of Locoregional Recurrent Breast Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
For information about treatment options for breast cancer that has spread to parts of the body outside the breast, chest wall, or nearby lymph nodes, see the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer section.
Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.
Looking At The Figures
When we look at the figures we see that most of the people who died within one month were in the palliative treatment group 7.5% of women with breast cancer and 10% of people with non-small cell lung cancer. These are patients who could not be cured of their disease and between 8-9% of this group died within a month of starting therapy.
There were also deaths in those patients given treatment with the intention to try and achieve cure. These were much fewer 0.3% of breast cancer patients and 2.7% of non-small cell lung cancer patients. It is the next steps in the investigation of these patients that makes this study so powerful and important.
No doctor sets out intentionally to harm their patient and we all know that chemotherapy has risks. Patients need to be selected and assessed carefully before they start treatment to make sure they can withstand the side effects that will get from these drugs.
In some cases it is a difficult judgement one that clinical teams must make every day. It would be all too easy to have excellent early survival figures by choosing not to treat any patients but then the majority who might get the longer-term benefit will miss out. As so often it is a fine judgement of benefits and risks for each patient.
It is important to emphasise that while there are clearly risks that come with chemotherapy, the number of deaths in the first 30 days is very small and there is no evidence that they are excessively clustered in one or two providers.
Who Is At Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Everyone who has received a breast cancer diagnosis is at risk of recurrence, however the risk differs markedly depending on a number of factors listed below. Some breast cancers, when diagnosed very early when small and without lymph node involvement, have an excellent prognosis and are very unlikely to recur. On the contrary, larger cancers, with lymph node involvement or with a more invasive behaviour, are unfortunately at a higher risk of recurrence.
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Outlook For Breast Cancer In Men
The outlook for breast cancer in men varies depending on how far it has spread by the time itâs diagnosed.
It may be possible to cure breast cancer if itâs found early.
A cure is much less likely if the cancer is found after it has spread beyond the breast. In these cases, treatment can relieve your symptoms and help you live longer.
Speak to your breast care nurse if youâd like to know more about the outlook for your cancer.
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Risk Factors For Distant Recurrence
There are several risk factors that raise the risk of recurrence overall . These include:
- Tumour size: Larger tumours are more likely to recur than smaller ones both early and late.
- Positive lymph nodes: Tumours that have spread to lymph nodes are more likely to recur at any time than those that have not.
- Age at diagnosis: Breast cancer recurrence is more common in younger women.
- Treatments received and response to treatments: Both chemotherapy and hormonal therapy reduce the risk of recurrence
- Tumour Characteristics: More aggressive cancers are more likely to recur than less aggressive tumours , especially in the first five years. We also take into account the receptor status and an estimate of proliferation .
There are also factors that do not appear to affect the risk of recurrence. Recurrence rates are the same for women who have a mastectomy or lumpectomy with radiation and are also the same for women who have a single vs. double mastectomy.
Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there isnt a way to prevent breast cancer completely. However, lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight and lowering alcohol consumption can help to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
If you are at high risk of developing breast cancer, your doctor may suggest hormone treatments , or a pre-emptive mastectomy.
How Are Bone Metastases Treated
Although it is not possible to cure bone metastases, they are not usually life-threatening. Many women enjoy active lives for many years after bone metastases are diagnosed.
Treatments for bone metastases aim to improve your quality of life by reducing symptoms, such as pain or bone fractures. Treatment will depend on:
- which bones are affected
- whether your bones have been weakened and are in danger of breaking
- characteristics of your original breast cancer, such as type of tumour and the type of receptor the tumour had or HER2 receptor)
- other treatments you have had for primary or secondary breast cancer
- systemic cancer treatments which work on the whole body.
Treatments are often very effective in stopping the growth or decreasing the size of cancerous deposits in the bones. Current treatments are not usually able to completely remove all cancer cells from the bones.
There are three types of treatment for bone metastases:
- treatments to control pain
- local treatments for the bones which are directed at a single bone or area
- systemic cancer treatments (such as
- hormone-blocking therapy, HER2-blocking drugs and chemotherapy) which work on the whole body.
Which Treatment Is Right For Me
Choosing the treatment that is right for you may be hard. Talk to your cancer doctor about the treatment options available for your type and stage of cancer. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and their side effects. Side effects are how your body reacts to drugs or other treatments.
Sometimes people get an opinion from more than one cancer doctor. This is called a second opinion. Getting a second opinionexternal icon may help you choose the treatment that is right for you.
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What Are The Signs Of Breast Cancer
A woman who has breast cancer may have no problems, or she may find a painless lump in her breast. If women examine their breasts monthly, they can help find lumps or other changes that a doctor should examine.
Most breast lumps are not cancer, but all lumps should be checked out by a doctor to be sure. Breast lumps that are not cancer may be scar tissue or cysts or they can be due to normal breast changes associated with hormone changes or aging.
Girls who are beginning puberty might notice a lump underneath the nipple when their breasts start developing. Usually, this is a normal. You can ask a parent or your doctor about it to be sure.
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What Can Lower The Risk Of Complications
With cancer, theres a lot of emphasis on early detection for good reason.
Its easier to treat cancer at an early stage, before it has the chance to spread and cause complications. Thats why its so important to get routine cancer screenings and to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
Treatment for advanced metastatic cancer is targeted at slowing the growth of cancer cells and stopping it from spreading further, as well as symptom management.
Treatment is based on the type of cancer, where it has spread, and what complications have developed.
In most cases, a combination of treatments is needed, which may need to be adjusted from time to time.
How Breast Cancer Is Treated
In cancer care, doctors specializing in different areas of cancer treatmentsuch as surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncologywork together with radiologists and pathologists to create a patients overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, nutritionists, and others. For people older than 65, a geriatric oncologist or geriatrician may also be involved in their care. Ask the members of your treatment team who is the primary contact for questions about scheduling and treatment, who is in charge during different parts of treatment, how they communicate across teams, and whether there is 1 contact who can help with communication across specialties, such as a nurse navigator. This can change over time as your health care needs change.
A treatment plan is a summary of your cancer and the planned cancer treatment. It is meant to give basic information about your medical history to any doctors who will care for you during your lifetime. Before treatment begins, ask your doctor for a copy of your treatment plan. You can also provide your doctor with a copy of the ASCO Treatment Plan form to fill out.
Learn more about making treatment decisions.
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What Are The Complications Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer that comes back can be harder to treat. The same therapy isnt always effective again. Tumors can develop a tolerance to certain treatments like chemotherapy. Your healthcare provider will try other therapies. You may be able to try drugs under development in clinical trials.
If breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, your healthcare providers still treat it like breast cancer. For instance, breast cancer cells that move to the lungs cause breast cancer in the lungs not lung cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is more difficult to treat than cancer in only one part of the body.
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Cure Versus Progression Delay: Models
For the following hypothetical scenarios, we consider the basic model to recapitulate the survival experience of 45,647 ER-positive breast cancer patients diagnosed in the SEER database between 1990 and 1995 and then introduce two theoretical treatments. In this database, the actuarial 20-year breast cancer mortality was 72.4%. By simulation, we can evaluate how the effects of cytotoxic and cytostatic treatments are expected to influence the shape of the mortality curves. To illuminate the two models in terms of expected survival patterns, we have simulated cohorts of 91,294 women under the two scenarios.
Cancer Is More Likely To Be Fatal When It’s Metastatic Meaning It Has Spread Throughout The Body
You might have heard of metastatic cancer but not known exactly what it means.
Metastatic cancer happens when cancerous cells disperse into surrounding tissues or even travel to other parts of the body through the blood or lymph systems, according to the NCI. These cells can then form tumors in their new locations.
Even though metastatic cancer has by definition moved from its point of origin, its still considered a form of that primary cancer, the NCI explains. So, if you had ovarian cancer that spread to your stomach, it would be considered metastatic ovarian cancer, not stomach cancer.
Its often this spreadand its impact on one or several major organsthat ultimately kills someone, Jack Jacoub, M.D., medical oncologist and medical director of MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, tells SELF. For this reason, cancer staging is largely dependent on how extensively the cancer has traveled. Stage IV cancer, the most severe form, means the cancer has wound up in distant body parts.
But metastatic cancer doesnt kill people in any one specific way. Instead, this disease can take a few avenues to end someones life.
Who Provides Breast Cancer Treatment
A medical team may involve several different health professionals. It may include a GP, a radiologist, an oncologist, a breast care nurse, a surgeon and other allied health professionals such as counsellors and therapists. Having a multi-disciplinary team means a patient can receive the best care possible.
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Who Is Mainly Affected By Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, second only to skin cancer. Its most likely to affect women over the age of 50.
Though rare, men can also develop breast cancer. Approximately 2,600 men develop male breast cancer every year in the United States, making up less than 1% of all cases.
Transgender women are more likely to develop breast cancer compared to cisgender men. Additionally, transgender men are less likely to develop breast cancer compared to cisgender women.
What age does breast cancer occur?
Breast cancer is most often diagnosed in adults over the age of 50, but it can occur at any age.
What race is most affected by breast cancer?
Overall, women who are non-Hispanic white have a slightly higher chance of developing breast cancer than women of any other race or ethnicity. Women who are non-Hispanic Black are almost as likely as non-Hispanic white women to develop the disease. Statistically, women who are Asian, Hispanic or Native American are the least likely to develop breast cancer.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
Learning everything you can about your diagnosis can help you make informed decisions about your health. Here are some questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Where is the tumor located?
- Has the tumor spread?
- What stage breast cancer do I have?
- What do the estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor and HER2 tests show and what do the results mean for me?
- What are my treatment options?
- Is breast cancer surgery an option for me?
- Will I be able to work while I undergo treatment?
- How long will my treatment last?
- What other resources are available to me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can feel scary, frustrating and even hopeless. If you or a loved one is facing this disease, its important to take advantage of the many resources available to you. Talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options. You may even want to get a second opinion before making a decision. You should feel satisfied and optimistic about your treatment plan. Finally, joining a local support group can help with feelings of isolation and allow you to talk with other people who are going through the same thing.
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Signs Of Breast Cancer Include A Lump Or Change In The Breast
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast.
- Fluid, other than breast milk, from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola .
- Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peaudorange.
What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
There are several different types of breast cancer, including:
Can cancer form in other parts of the breast?
When we say breast cancer, we usually mean cancers that form in milk ducts or lobules. Cancers can also form in other parts of your breast, but these types of cancer are less common. These can include:
- Angiosarcoma. This rare type of cancer begins in the cells that make up the lining of blood or lymph vessels.
- Phyllodes tumors. Starting in the connective tissue, phyllodes tumors are rare. Theyre usually benign , but they can be malignant in some cases.
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Treatments For Breast Cancer In Men
The treatment for breast cancer in men depends on how far the cancer has spread.
Possible treatments include:
- surgery to remove the affected breast tissue and nipple and some of the glands in your armpit
- radiotherapy where radiation is used to kill cancer cells
- chemotherapy where cancer medicine is used to kill cancer cells
- other medicines that help stop breast cancer growing including tamoxifen and trastuzumab
Many men have surgery followed by 1 or more of the other treatments. This can help stop the cancer coming back in the future.
Read more about treatments for breast cancer in men.
Want To Learn More About Your Breast Cancer Treatment Options Were Here For You
Whether you just received your diagnosis or youre looking for new treatment options, were here to help.
If youve just been diagnosed with breast cancer, your next stop will be to meet with a nurse navigator or breast surgeon, depending on your initial diagnosis, and start building your treatment plan. We offer cancer care clinic locations across the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin, so get started by selecting a location to make an appointment at.
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