We hope this information will help you understand the many different types of treatment available for women faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. Since the 1990s more women are alive and well after a breast cancer diagnosis because of earlier detection through better screening as well as more effective treatments. The number of breast cancer survivors is increasing every year. The array of treatment options includes methods which are more effective, more specific and more aesthetic. Breast cancer requires a coordinated plan of multidisciplinary treatment. Options include various combinations of surgery, radiation, anti-hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Novel treatments are currently being developed based on cutting-edge knowledge of breast cancer genetics and molecular biology. A combination of patient-specific factors and tumor characteristics is used to design a multidisciplinary, collaborative care plan, based on the best available scientific data.
Local breast cancer therapy includes surgery and radiation. These are used to treat the breast and evaluate the associated lymph nodes. Systemic therapy includes drugs which go throughout the body to reach cells which have spread from the breast via the bloodstream to other organs. This includes anti-hormonal pills (e.g., tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors), chemotherapy, targeted-therapy (e.g., antibody- based treatments like trastuzumab [Herceptin]) and medications targeting bone (such as bisphosphonates).
Learn more about the available treatments:
- Breast Surgery
- Lymph Node Surgery
- Anti-hormonal Therapy
- Targeted Therapy