Doctors suggest that women self-examine their breasts regularly to check for abnormal lumps. In addition, women over the age of 40 should get annual mammograms to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Breast cancer can be a frightening diagnosis. Cancer is a serious illness, but fortunately, there are treatments that can help you recover. Here are some types of breast cancer treatment that doctors can offer patients:
Surgery is an effective breast cancer treatment, and it's often used as a first resort. If cancer hasn't spread to other parts of the body, surgery may be enough to eradicate it. A lumpectomy is the least invasive type of breast cancer surgery. During the procedure, a doctor removes the cancerous tumor from within a patient's breast. Lumpectomies allow patients to retain healthy breast tissue, which is often important to women.
If the tumor is large enough to render a lumpectomy insufficient, a mastectomy may be recommended. A mastectomy is another type of surgery. During a mastectomy, a doctor removes all of a patient's breast tissue, including the cancerous tissue. A mastectomy is a more aggressive procedure that can ensure a more favorable result. If both breasts are removed, the procedure is called a double mastectomy. Patients at high risk for breast cancer may elect to have a double mastectomy, even if their other breast is healthy, to avoid similar problems in the future.
3. Radiation Therapy
Cancer sometimes spreads throughout a patient's body in a process called metastasis. If cancer metastasizes, surgery alone will not be able to remove it. In this case, radiation therapy can be useful. Radiation therapy uses x-rays to target cancer cells that cannot be removed surgically. The energy of radiation beams kills cancerous cells. Most patients require multiple rounds of radiation therapy to show improvement. The side effects of radiation therapy can include hair loss, nausea, and fatigue.
Chemotherapy may also be used to treat metastasized cancer. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancerous cells. Unlike radiation therapy, chemotherapy works throughout your entire body, which can be helpful for patients whose cancer has spread significantly. Chemotherapy causes many of the same side effects as radiation therapy. Many patients find that bedrest allows their body to better tolerate chemotherapy.
Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Breast cancer treatment can help you fight cancer, so you can get back to living your life. With the right treatment, a full recovery is often possible.
To learn more about different breast cancer treatments, reach out to a local medical health professional.