Breast cancer treatment options have advanced in recent years bringing new hope and excitement to patients at Mid Florida Cancer Centers. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of these treatments may be used for breast cancer treatment. Due to the wide variations of circumstances for breast cancer, the most effective treatment depends on your specific case. A cancer specialist will determine the best course of treatment by considering the type of breast cancer you have, the size of the breast tumor, the stage of the cancer, the grade of the cancer, whether you have had your menopause, whether your cancer cells have particular receptors, and your general health.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
The following are possible symptoms of breast cancer. Although these symptoms may be caused by another condition, please see your primary physician immediately.
- Breast lump – although 9 out of 10 breast lumps are benign, it is critical your physician examine it to determine whether it is cancerous
- Thickening in an area of the breast – similar to a lump
- Change in the size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling of the skin
- Change in the shape of the nipple – particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast, or has an irregular shape
- A blood stained discharge from the nipple
- A rash on a nipple or surrounding area
- A swelling or lump in your armpit
Breast Cancer Causes
The following are risk factors that may increase your risk for developing breast cancer:
- Age – most women develop breast cancer following menopause
- Family history – a primary relative with breast cancer doubles the risk of developing breast cancer
- Breast cancer genes – BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, and PTEN are faulty genes that can lead to developing breast cancer. It is possible to test for these genes.
- Sex hormones and other hormones – women with higher levels of estrogen and testosterone in their blood are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop breast cancer
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – a study from 2011 showed that just over 3 out of 100 breast cancers in women in 2010 were linked to HRT use
- Contraceptive pills – there is a small increase in risk of developing breast cancer while taking contraceptive pills. However, this risk goes back to normal 10 years after stopping taking the pills.
- Alcohol abuse and smoking
Treatment for Breast Cancer
Treatment for breast cancer comes in various forms. Contact Mid Florida Cancer Centers today to determine which option is right for you. Typically, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of therapies is used to treat breast cancer.
There are several different types of surgeries to treat breast cancer. The type of surgery that is best for you depends on several factors including the size of the cancer in your breast, whether it has spread to any other part of your body, the size of your breasts, and your personal wishes and opinions regarding the surgery. Typically, surgery for breast cancer means either having a mastectomy (the entire breast removed) or a lumpectomy (only the lump or area of cancer removed). After taking into consideration the factors regarding your case and your personal wishes, the cancer specialist will make a recommendation regarding which type of surgery will be the most effective treatment.
Radiation therapy may be necessary following your surgery, particularly following lumpectomy surgery. This treatment will help to kill any remaining cancer that may still be in the breast, and also will prevent the cancer from returning.
Chemotherapy for breast cancer is another possible treatment. Sometimes chemotherapy or hormone therapy before surgery for large tumors or more advanced breast cancer is necessary. This will help to reduce the size of the cancer and make it easier to remove during surgery. Chemotherapy or hormone therapy following surgery is also sometimes necessary. This will help to lower the chance of the cancer coming back. Your cancer specialist will discuss with you the various treatments that will be the most effective in your case. Due to the many variables regarding breast cancer, the most effective course of treatment depends on each specific case.
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