Cancer is an ugly word. It has been in the forefront of the news often. Moreover, it is rather frightening to think that everyone is at risk. Women are at risk for the most common cancer in India, breast cancer. According to Breast Cancer India, younger women between 25 and 40 years are at risk for breast cancer, when you compare to 25 years back, when most cases were in women above 60 years. Nearly 25 to 32 percent of all cancer cases relate to breast cancer.
While all this is very disturbing, breast cancer treatments have been developing, so that the best possible treatment can be given to the patients. It can be a huge shock to be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, knowing how to fight it can be a massive help.
treatments for breast cancer
There are many types of breast cancer, depending on where the tumour is, its size, how fast it is growing etc. Treatment varies according to the patient’s condition. For primary breast cancer, the treatment can focus on removal of the tumour and then making sure it doesn’t come back. Below are some of the common therapies for breast cancer.
Surgery takes place first, to remove the tumour. It can be removing the tumour by lumpectomy or wide excision (breast conserving surgery); or a complete removal of the breasts, called a mastectomy. Radiation therapy is compulsory if a breast conserving surgery is done.
Radiotherapy usually follows radiation therapy. This is where controlled X- rays are used to kill any cancerous cells that may remain after surgery.
In spite of removing the cancer, some measures have to be taken to make sure that the cancer doesn’t return. The removal of the tumour becomes easier if cancer treatment occurs before surgery. Chemotherapy is when they inject anti–cancer drugs into the body. Hormonal therapy is a good option for preventing recurrence of tumours. Estrogen is a female hormone that plays a role in breast cancer. It the tissue biopsy reveals estrogen receptors in the tumour, then hormonal treatment is given. It is usually given in the form of a tablet, which is taken with the advise of doctors, for a few years.
Targeted therapy is another new, successful method where they target and remove receptors that help the tumour grow.
How to Chose the Therapy?
The choice of therapy depends on the type of the cancer. Following through with these, as per the doctor’s advice can help get rid of the cancer. The treatments do have many side effects like hair loss, weight gain, weakness, fatigue, higher chance for getting infections etc. However, they can control all of these side effects by taking proper care after treatment.
Battling cancer takes a toll on the patient and it is important that the family and friends be completely supportive. If you have any suspicions regarding breast cancer, get a check-up immediately. The more you delay, the more complicated it gets. Don’t wait.