Breast Cancer Treatment:

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Local Treatments:

 

Surgery:

   This is usually the first treatment Breast Cancer Patients will have offered by a Breast Surgical Oncologist. This can be performed in the Hospital or an Outpatient Surgical Center.

   The Goal of surgery is to provide the Pathologist (a Doctor that uses microscopes to actually see cancer) with tissue from the breast,  and/or lymph    

   nodes. This is how we determine the STAGE of ones cancer. The Pathologist will determine the size of the cancer (called the T=tumor size), as well as

   check the lymph nodes for evidence of cancer cells spreading (called the N=nodal involvement). The third part of the Stage is the M= metastatic stage

   determined by evidence of cancer spreading to other organs in the body by Radiologic studies (i.e. CT scan, Pet CT, Brain MRI, Bone Scans).

 

   STAGES: Stage I and II are considered EARLY curable stages. The are relatively small cancers (up to 5 cm) and 0-3 lymph nodes involved with  

   cancer. Stage III is a locally advanced cancer. Larger size cancers (>5 cm, or involvement into the skin or muscle) and/or > 3 nodes involved with

   cancer. Stage IV is a metastatic stage. Cancer has been proven to have already attacked another organ in the body by imaging +/- biopsy.

 

Radiation:

   This is a localized treatment to the breast/chest wall/axillary area given by a Radiation Oncologist. This treatment uses high energy radiation xrays to 

   kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA. This treatment is delivered outside of the body (external beam) or directly (APBI/IORT) into the cavity 

   where cancer was after it has been removed surgically. The goal of radiation therapy is to decrease the chance of cancer coming back in the

   breast/chest wall/axilla after initial surgical treatment.

 

 

Systemic Treatments:

Chemotherapy:

   This is a medical treatment given by a Medical Oncologist. This and other systemic treatments are design to fight and or prevent circulating cancer

   cells in the body from spreading. Chemotherapy affects actively dividing cells including healthy cells in the body.

 

Endocrine Therapy:

   This is a medical treatment given by a Medical Oncologist. This is a target treatment aimed at cancer cells that display Estrogen and Progesterone

   receptors. This is given as a once a day pill given for 5-10 years.

 

Immunology Therapy:

   This is a medical treatment given by a Medical Oncologist. This is a target treatment aimed at a protein that is presence on the cancer cells wall. This

   is given as an infusion over a year.

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