Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Having a look at various Breast Cancer Treatment

One of the leading types of cancer in women is the breast cancer. Many women worldwide die due to breast cancer. Though with so much advancement in the medical field still there has not been a proper cure for this condition. The entire world celebrates the October month as the breast cancer awareness month and tries to promote awareness and hence bring down the incidence of breast cancer.

Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month
There are many treatments available which have proved helpful. These treatments have been able to bring down the mortality rate among women. Let us now have a look at the various breast cancer treatments developed over a period of time.

There have been some recent advancement in the breast cancer category and the doctors have been able to develop such therapies which target and attack those substances which trigger breast cancer cells. The targeted therapies include :

  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin) : this drug targets those cells which are dependent on Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2). This drug blocks the effects of HER2 on cancer cells. This limits the growth of breast cancer. All those breast cancer patients who have got tumors respond well to this medication in combination with chemotherapy.
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb) : this drug has same effect as that of Trastuzumab and interferes with HER2 protein signals
  • Bevacizuamb (Avastin) : this drug interferes with cancer’s blood supply thus restricting the growth of breast cancer. It shuts down new blood vessel formation around the cancer.
Other treatment options available :
  • Intra operative Radiation Therapy : This is advancement over the radiation therapy in which the therapy is done after a woman has undergone surgery to remove breast (after some days of undergoing surgery) but what happens in intra operative radiation, the therapy is given to the woman right after the operation in the operation theater. This way it saves both time and all procedure is done at one go. Such a therapy is not recommended for pregnant women because it is known to increase the risk of birth defects in the baby. In such a condition the doctor suggests lumpectomy and radiation therapy.
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy : in this procedure the doctors try to locate the lymph node where the breast cancer is most likely to spread. This is done using a dye or a radioactive substance. The doctor would remove that lymph node and would examine it. If there is no cancerous tissue in that lump, then there is no need to remove other lymph nodes from the patient’s breast.
  • High dose Chemotherapy followed by Stem cell transplant : this method is still under much debate as many doctors have found that those women who have received high dose chemo reported high mortality then women who received standard chemo therapy. Also the side effects associated with chemotherapy are very much debated.
Treatment for such breast cancer which comes back : such a cancer which comes back after treatment it s called recurrence. The recurrence could be local or distant. When the cancer comes back in the same breast or near the mastectomy scar this is local recurrence. If the cancer is farther it is distant recurrence. But if a cancer is found in the other breast, it is not recurrence and would require its own treatment.

Treatment for Local Recurrence :  The treatment would depend upon the earlier treatment. If earlier breast conserving therapy was used, then now mastectomy would be used. But if the first treatment was mastectomy, then radiation therapy could be used. The doctor would make sure that the woman has not undergone radiation therapy earlier. In such a case hormone therapy, chemo or a combination of available treatment would be done.

Treatment for Distant Recurrence : when the cancer spreads beyond the breast and lymph to other parts of the body then it is treated with systematic therapy. Again combinations of available treatments are used to cure such condition.

These treatments are available but would be of no use unless and until you get the screening done. So go for the breast cancer screening this October and pledge it to eliminate it from the world. medecure is with you in this endeavor.


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