Breast Cancer Treatments – A Quick Look On Different Types Of Treatments

Breast cancer treatments begin with diagnosis and these may include mammography, MRI, ultrasound, biopsy, CT scan, and PET scan. Early detection of breast lumps is the best method for treating and preventing breast cancers. The best method of early detection and prevention of breast cancer or lumps is the combination of breast self-exams and routine exams by health care practitioner on a monthly basis.

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Breast lumps are either cancerous or non-cancerous. Non-cancerous growth feels soft and can be move easily where as cancerous growth feels hard and firmly attached within the breast tissues. Further diagnosis can confirmed whether the lump is cancerous or non-cancerous. Once the diagnosis is completed and cancer is found, breast cancer treatments can begin.

Mammography is a highly sensitive X-ray breast cancer screening test that can detect cancerous cell changes and lumps. Mammography can detect cancerous cell changes before a lump develops and it can also detect a lump several years before it actually develop.

MRI is an imaging test that can detect whether the lumps has spread to surrounding breast tissues. MRI can be performed in combination with mammography and ultrasound. Ultrasound is performed to determine whether the lump is fluid-filled or solid.

Sometime cancerous cell changes or lumps may be too deep within the breast tissues and cannot be felt during breast exam but it may show up on the mammogram. A biopsy is performed to be certain the cancer is present. There are several ways a doctor can perform a biopsy and this include fine-needle biopsy, core biopsy, stereotactic biopsy and surgical biopsy.

• Fine-needle biopsy involves the use of fine needle to draw out fluids or cells sample from the lump.

• Core biopsy involves the use of wide, hollow-core needle to remove tissue sample from the lump.

• Stereotactic biopsy uses mammography to find lump that cannot be felt and needle is inserted into targeted area to remove tissue sample.

• Surgical biopsy is an operation that removes part of the lump or the entire lump.

CT scan and PET scan are both imaging test that are use to determine whether the cancer has spread to other part of the body which MRI may have failed to detect.

Once the cancer has been diagnosed, breast cancer treatments may include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and surgery. The treatment may be local or systemic depending on the stages of the disease. Radiation therapy and surgery are use for local treatments. Chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy are use for systemic treatments that affect the entire system of the body.

Chemotherapy is cancer-killing drugs that can be delivered orally or by injection. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream and travel through the entire body. Side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and increase susceptible to infections.

Some breast tumors need estrogen and progesterone to grow. Hormonal therapy can be use to block the effects of estrogen and progesterone to prevent the tumor from surviving and growing. Side effects may include hot flashes and irregular periods from the use of hormonal therapy.

There are two forms of radiation therapy, internal and external. Internal radiation therapy uses radioactive seeds that are placed near the site of the tumor. External radiation therapy uses beam radiation directed onto the body surface where the tumor is present. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, red skin, and increase susceptible to infections.

Targeted therapy also called biological therapy uses drugs that target specific cancer cells. Targeted therapy is use to fight cancer that has too much HER2 protein. The drug is delivered by injection and it works by helping the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

There are three types of surgery used to treat breast cancer and these include radical mastectomy, simple mastectomy, and lumpectomy. Surgical procedure that involves removing the entire breast and surrounding tissue is known as radical mastectomy. Surgical procedure that removes the breast tissues, nipple and areola is known as simple mastectomy. Surgical procedure that removes the lump and small amounts of surrounding tissues is known as lumpectomy.

There are different stages of breast cancer therefore breast cancer treatments may involve the combination of any of these treatments to treat cancer that have progress to later stage. Early stage of cancer can be treated with a single treatment such as mastectomy or a combination of treatments.

Breast cancer treatments may have a tremendous effect on women’s sexuality. The breast is an important part of a woman’s physical characteristics and symbolizes a woman’s femininity. Women who lost their breast after mastectomy may consider breast reconstruction to restore the lost breast. The breasts are important components of sexual arousal for both the woman and her partner. During love making woman enjoyed the stimulation of her breasts being massage, lick and suck by her partner and her partner also enjoyed the stimulation from doing these things and from looking at her breasts.

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