Basically, breast cancer is the one that forms in breast cells, and it’s one of the most widespread cancer types that affect many patients, mostly women. For people diagnosed with it, there are different treatment options, both invasive and non-invasive, including surgery and chemotherapy.
Most Common Symptoms
- Changes in the shape, size and look of breasts;
- Breast lumps that feel different from surrounding tissues;
- Newly inverted nipples;
- Pitting, dimpling or redness of the breast skin;
- Flaking, scaling or peeling of the pigmented area of the skin that surrounds nipples.
Risk Factors and Causes
- Being a woman, because females are more prone to having this serious disease;
- Personal or family history of breast cancer;
- Aging increased the risk of having breast cancer;
- Inherited genes that increase this risk;
- Radiation exposure;
- Beginning of period at younger age;
- Beginning of menopause at older age;
- No pregnancy;
- Having the 1st baby at older age;
- Drinking alcohol;
- Postmenopausal hormone therapies.
How to Treat Breast Cancer
Only doctors can determine the best treatment based on the type of cancer, its size, stage and other factors. Most women need to undergo special surgery and get extra treatments, including radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy.
Breast Cancer Surgery Types
- Lumpectomy or removing breast cancer;
- Mastectomy or removing the entire breast;
- Sentinel node biopsy or removing some limited number of lymph nodes;
- Axillary lymph node dissection or removal of a few lymph nodes;
- Removal of both breasts at once.
There are certain complications associated with surgery, including bleeding, pain, arm swelling, etc. Most women decide on their breast reconstruction after this treatment.
This treatment uses high-powered energy beams, including protons and X-rays, to destroy cancer cells. Radiation often uses big machines that focus energy beams on the body, but it can be done by placing special radioactive materials inside it. Some of the most common side effects include skin rash and fatigue.
This therapy uses special medications to kill breast cancer cells. For patients with a high risk of spreading it to other body parts or returning, doctors advise this treatment to reduce this risk. Besides, chemotherapy is given before surgeries to women with big breast tumors, and if their cancer has spread to other body parts. It’s associated with such adverse effects as nausea, hair loss, fatigue, vomiting, infections and so on.
It’s one of the best treatment options for patients with breast cancer (estrogen or progesterone receptor positive) sensitive to hormones. There are different meds that can be used, such as the following:
- Blocking hormones from being attached to breast cancer cells;
- Stopping the body from producing estrogen after menopause;
- Targeting estrogen receptors for destruction;
- Stopping hormone production in ovaries.
Palliative or Supportive Care
It’s all about specialized medical care focused on providing patients with relief from their pain and other annoying symptoms of breast cancer. It can be used when undergoing other effective treatments, including radiation, breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy to make patients live longer and feel better.