What Are Some Of The Possible Risks Or Complications
Minor complications include:
- Slight swelling of the breast during radiotherapy. This usually goes away within six to 12 months.
- The skin becomes darker during the course of radiotherapy, similar to tanning from the sun. In most cases, this also fades gradually over six to 12 months.
- Most women will have aches or pains from time to time in the treated breast or the muscles surrounding the breast, even years after treatment. The reason why this happens is not clear however, these pains are harmless, although annoying. They are NOT a sign that the cancer is reappearing.
- Rarely, patients may develop a rib fracture years following treatment. This occurs in less than one percent of patients treated by modern approaches. These heal slowly by themselves.
More serious complications include:
Sacituzumab Govitecan Delays Cancer Growth For Some People With Advanced Hormone Receptor
Who does this study affect? People with advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer whose cancer has not been stopped by previous treatments.
What did this study find? The phase 3 TROPiCS-02 clinical trial found that the targeted therapy drug sacituzumab govitecan delayed cancer growth 34% longer than standard chemotherapy in people with advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer whose cancer has grown despite previous treatments.
Hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative cancer is the most common subtype of advanced breast cancer. The standard treatment for people with this type of cancer is hormonal therapy with or without targeted therapy until the cancer grows or spreads, at which point treatment options are limited to chemotherapy. In this study, researchers were evaluating whether treating patients at this stage with sacituzumab govitecan instead of chemotherapy would be better at delaying cancer growth or spread.
Sacituzumab govitecan is a type of targeted therapy called an antibody-drug conjugate. In this type of treatment, the antibody attaches to a cancer cell and then delivers the anticancer drug it carries to start destroying the cancer cell. Sacituzumab govitecan is currently approved for the treatment of people with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer who have already received at least 2 treatments.
What Is Personalized Medicine
Theres no standard medical definition for personalized medicine . So, you may hear this term used in different ways.
For breast cancer, the goal of personalized medicine is to give the most effective treatment for each persons breast cancer. This involves:
- Getting the best results, while avoiding unnecessary treatment. All treatments for breast cancer have side effects and other risks. Avoiding unnecessary treatments avoids these side effects and risks.
- Developing therapies to target specific tumors or specific cellular pathways that lead to tumor growth.
- Identifying which people will respond best to each treatment.
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Stage 0 Breast Cancer
Stage 0 is the lowest-risk breast cancer stage. In this stage, breast cancer is detected before it spreads from the milk duct. Ductal carcinoma in situ is an example of stage 0 breast cancer.
Treatment may include surgery to remove the breast cancer, possibly followed by radiation or hormonal therapy if the cancer is hormone receptor-positive. Hormonal therapy may include tamoxifen or a type of drug known as an aromatase inhibitor, which is taken for five years after surgery to lower the risk of the breast cancer recurring.
The surgeon may remove just the tumor, via breast conservation surgery, or the entire breast, if the cancer is large or has been detected in several spots in the milk ducts.
Signs Of Breast Cancer Include A Lump Or Change In The Breast
These and other signs may be caused by breast cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- 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.
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Nering With Engineers To Solve Metastasis
Another major challenge is treating metastatic disease, or breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes. The average survival for these patients is about two years. But this average includes patients who live for many years with metastatic disease managed with treatments.
A tiny fraction of patients may be cured of metastatic breast cancer after completing treatment, with no evidence of cancer for the remainder of their normal lives. But these are rare exceptions.
What puzzles scientists is why. Those who responded had the same treatment as those who did not respond. So what makes cancer incurable?
Researchers are looking for new perspectives to better understand why cancer spreads, to try to stop the process or detect it early.
Surprisingly, engineering is playing a big role in research to understand and treat metastasis. Jeruss and Lonnie Shea, Ph.D., professor and William and Valerie Hall chair of biomedical engineering at U-M, are working on a small implantable scaffold device designed to capture cancer cells as they begin to travel through the body.
The scaffold, made of FDA-approved material commonly used in sutures and wound dressings, is designed to mimic the environment in other organs before cancer cells migrate there. It attracts the bodys immune cells, and the immune cells draw in the cancer cells. By trapping the immune cells, the scaffold limits them from heading to the lung, liver or brain, where breast cancer commonly spreads.
Breast Cancer: Types Of Treatment
Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.
ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for people with breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.
This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer. Standard of care means the best treatments known. When making treatment plan decisions, you are strongly encouraged to consider clinical trials as an option. A clinical trial is a research study that tests a new approach to treatment. Doctors want to learn whether the new treatment is safe, effective, and possibly better than the standard treatment. Clinical trials can test a new drug and how often it should be given, a new combination of standard treatments, or new doses of standard drugs or other treatments. Some clinical trials also test giving less treatment than what is usually done as the standard of care. Clinical trials are an option to consider for treatment and care for all stages of cancer. Your doctor can help you consider all your treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials in the About Clinical Trials and Latest Research sections of this guide.
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Local Treatments Used To Treat Breast Cancers
The doctors may choose a single therapy or combine two or more therapy for best results. Women should always follow up with their doctors to screen for recurrence of cancer.
Playing An Active Role
You play an active role in making treatment decisions by understanding your breast cancer diagnosis, your treatment options and possible side effects.
Together, you and your health care provider can choose treatments that fit your values and lifestyle.
The National Academy of Sciences released the report, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis in 2013. Susan G. Komen® was one of 13 organizations that sponsored this study.
The report identified key ways to improve quality of care:
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Biomarker Testing Is Used To Find Out Whether Breast Cancer Cells Have Certain Receptors
Healthy breast cells, and some breast cancer cells, have receptors that attach to the hormonesestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are needed for healthy cells, and some breast cancer cells, to grow and divide. To check for these biomarkers, samples of tissue containing breast cancer cells are removed during a biopsy or surgery. The samples are tested in a laboratory to see whether the breast cancer cells have estrogen or progesterone receptors.
Another type of receptor that is found on the surface of all breast cancer cells is called HER2. HER2 receptors are needed for the breast cancer cells to grow and divide.
For breast cancer, biomarker testing includes the following:
Sometimes the breast cancer cells will be described as triple negative or triple positive.
- Triple negative. If the breast cancer cells do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or a larger than normal amount of HER2 receptors, the cancer cells are called triple negative.
- Triple positive. If the breast cancer cells do have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and a larger than normal amount of HER2 receptors, the cancer cells are called triple positive.
Benign And Malignant Tumors
Benign tumors are not cancerous, and they often do not pose an immediate risk to your health. Sometimes healthcare providers will opt to leave a benign tumor alone instead of removing it. If you are experiencing discomfort, irritation, or pressure, talk with your practitioner, who may refer you to a surgeon to remove it and improve your symptoms.
If a tumor is found to be malignant, you have breast cancer or another form of cancer. Malignant tumors can be aggressive and may spread to other surrounding tissues. They require treatment.
When a lump is found, a biopsy may be done. This can help identify whether it is a tumor and whether it is benign or malignant.
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A Family History Of Breast Cancer And Other Factors Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk for breast cancer.
Risk factors for breast cancer include the following:
- A personal history of benign breast disease.
- A family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative .
- Inherited changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes or in other genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram.
- Exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made by the body. This may be caused by:
- Menstruating at an early age.
- Older age at first birth or never having given birth.
- Starting menopause at a later age.
Older age is the main risk factor for most cancers. The chance of getting cancer increases as you get older.
NCI’sBreast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool uses a woman’s risk factors to estimate her risk for breast cancer during the next five years and up to age 90. This online tool is meant to be used by a health care provider. For more information on breast cancer risk, call 1-800-4-CANCER.
Five Ways I Managed My Nutrition During Breast Cancer Treatment
Pako W. was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 48th birthday. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® , Phoenix, she completed a double mastectomy, immunotherapy and then the newly released Kadcyla® treatment . Pako is a personal trainer and believes in good nutrition and exercise as part of a treatment plan.
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Regional Recurrence Within Three Years Carries A Less Favorable Prognosis But Overall Survival Statistics Are Still Good
Generally speaking, if the breast cancer returns regionally lymph nodes) within the first five years following original treatment, the overall likelihood of survival is thought to be somewhat poorer.
Five-year overall survival after an isolated chest wall recurrence is 68% and after intra-breast recurrence it is 81%.
In one 2010 medical research study, the ten year overall survival rate was estimated at 84% for women without recurrence. However, this figure goes down to 49% for women with a locoregional recurrence and 72% for women with a second primary tumour.
A large 2015 study examined the impact of the time of the disease free interval on survival rates. For women with a locoregional recurrence that happened in the first 18 months, the ten year overall survival rate is around 30%. The overall 10 year survival rate for those whose recurrence happened within 3 years goes up to 50%. Furthermore, for those who suffered a recurrence after 3 years the ten year overall survival rate increases to 70%.
This recent study clearly demonstrates that the longer the time span since the primary prognosis and treatment to the recurrence, the better the long-term prognosis.
The rate of distance breast cancer metastasis and overall survival is most favorable for women in which the recurrence occurred locally and after five years.
However, women with a same-breast recurrence within five years have a distant metastasis rate of about 61%, which are slightly poorer odds.
Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Sometimes, if cancer spreads to the spinal fluid, which surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord, chemo may be given directly into in this area .
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How To Cure Breast Cancer
This article was co-authored by Joshua Ellenhorn, MD. Joshua Ellenhorn, MD, is a board certified surgeon with advanced training in the fields of surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery, and robotic surgery. He runs a private practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California and is a nationally recognized leader in surgery, cancer research, and surgical education. Dr. Ellenhorn has trained more than 60 surgical oncologists and has spent over 18 years in practice at the City of Hope National Medical Center, where he was a professor and the chief of the Division of General and Oncologic Surgery. Dr. Ellenhorn performs the following surgical procedures: gallbladder surgery, hernia repair, colorectal cancer, skin cancer and melanoma, gastric cancer, and pancreatic cancer. He earned an MD from the Boston University School of Medicine, completed fellowships at the University of Chicago and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and finished his residency in surgery at the University of Cincinnati.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 22,889 times.
Breast Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Breast
The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes. Each lobe has many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.
Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless, watery fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels carry lymph between lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures found throughout the body. They filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fightinfection and disease. Groups of lymph nodes are found near the breast in theaxilla , above thecollarbone, and in the chest.
The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Cancer that begins in the lobes or lobules is called lobular carcinoma and is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon type of breast cancer in which the breast is warm, red, and swollen.
See the following PDQ summaries for more information about breast cancer:
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