Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Treatments for Breast Cancer

Prevention is better than cure, it holds true for breast cancer. However there are methods to cure breast cancer, though great deal of time and money is involved in these treatments. There are four basic types of treatments that are used to cure breast treatments.

Most of the cancer patients go through the surgery to remove the cancer cells. Cancer is developed in the lymph nodes, to verify the presence of cancer these cells are taken out and viewed under microscope. Breast conserving surgery is done to remove only the tissues that contain the cancer. There are two basic types of breast conserving surgeries. Lumpectomy, involves removing tumor and small tissues attached with it , therefore conserving the rest of the breast. Partial mastectomy involves removing the part of the breast having the tumor. This depends on the growth of the tumor and it location in the breasts.

However there are surgeries where whole breast is removed to prevent its growth to the rest part of the body. This surgery is termed as whole mastectomy. Even after the surgery patients are often given radiation therapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancer cells.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy makes use of strong x-rays or other radiations to kill the cancer cells. Type of radiation therapy is selected depending on the type and stage of the breast cancer. Normally two kinds of therapies are used, internal therapy and external therapy. In internal therapy, a radioactive substance is brought near the cancer, with the help of wire, catchers and seeds. However in case of external therapy, a machine placed outside the body of the patient is used to direct the radiation towards her breasts.


Drugs are used in chemotherapy to stop the growth of the cancer and to kill the cancer cells. This drug is either taken in form of medicine or injected into the blood directly or the muscle. The drugs move in the bloodstream to reach the cancer cells. Types of chemotherapy depend on the stage and type of the cancer. Chemotherapy can be placed in the part of the body directly where the cancer is present.

Hormone therapy
Hormones are produced by glands; some of them may enhance the growth of the cancer cells in the breasts. However by controlling the productivity of these hormones, cancer cells can be stopped from growing further. Estrogen is the kind of hormone which is produced bay ovaries and supports the growth of the cancer. Hormone therapy is used to reduce the production of estrogen

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