Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting millions of women worldwide. There is a range of risk factors involved and various symptoms experienced in different types of breast cancer. Continuing on the treatments available to treat breast cancer, this article provides a descriptive outlook on some newer options.
Known as hormone-blocking therapy, the treatment is used to treat breast cancers sensitive to hormones. The treatment prevents estrogen or progesterone from encouraging the growth of breast cancer cells. The therapy is performed before or after surgery or even after other treatments to prevent cancer from recurring. In case the cancer has spread, this therapy will shrink and control the growth. Hormone therapy encourages side effects like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. Serious and very rare side effects include bone thinning and blood clots.
A prime method among the common treatments for breast cancer, targeted therapy involves medication treatments to induce the immune system to destroy cancer cells. A protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 enhances the growth of breast cancer cells. Hence, this method targets these cells and damages them. Cancer cells are tested before the therapy to determine if it is beneficial for you.
This advanced cancer treatment enhances your immune system to fight cancer cells. It’s recommended when the cancer cells produce proteins that block the immune system cells. Immunotherapy is advisable when you have triple-negative breast cancer, where the cancer cells are devoid of receptors for estrogen and other hormones. Advanced cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is treated by combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy.
Common treatments for breast cancer also involve certain medications that attack specific abnormalities of cancer cells. Herceptin can block the production of the HER2 protein. This protein helps breast cancer cells to grow, and taking this medication attacks the production of this protein.
Diagnosis for detecting breast cancer
If you feel a lump or something uncomfortable in your breasts, visit your doctor at the earliest. Your doctor will ask about your health and your family’s health history. A breast exam with the following tests will be conducted:
The process uses waves to take pictures of your breasts with their structures. It can determine whether a new lump is a solid mass or if it is a fluid-filled cyst.
It’s a detailed X-ray of the breasts that gives a better picture of lumps and other breast issues.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
An MRI machine features a magnet that is linked to a computer and creates radio waves to develop detailed images of the breasts.
It’s one of the most definitive ways to detect breast cancer by taking tissues or fluid from the breasts. The sample is viewed under a microscope to see if cancer cells exist. A specialized needle is also used along with an imaging test to extract a core tissue.
The common treatments for breast cancer followed by timely diagnosis and a detailed history give better chances to treat the condition.