Treatment Options Available After the Diagnosis
Breast cancer treatment can be complex and requires close communication and coordination among highly-trained multispecialty team members. Guidelines published by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network in 2007 state that there are a variety of treatments and that patient participation is a major part of the decision-making process (2007: Breast Cancer NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines for Patients).
Treatment decisions for breast cancer are based on the presence of metastases (cancer spread), involvement of axillary lymph nodes, characteristics of the primary tumor, patient comorbid conditions, patient age and menopausal status, and hormone receptor status (ER, PR, and HER2/neu) (2007: Breast Cancer NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines for Patients).
The American Cancer Society states that most women with breast cancer will have some type of surgery. The type of surgery and/or other treatments should be made after careful consideration and education. Types of surgical treatments for breast cancer include: lumpectomy, breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy and radiation therapy), mastectomy (partial or skin-sparing), and lymph node removal. In addition, women may decide to have breast reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy, or at a later time (2007: Breast Cancer NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines for Patients).
Breast conserving surgery (BCS) with radiation (BCSR) requires a collaborative effort between surgeons and radiation oncologists. Studies have demonstrated the role of multidisciplinary consultation in the decision to use BCSR and other treatment options (Cancer, February 2004: 100(4); 701-709).
The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute offers a full range of treatment options after the diagnosis of breast cancer including:
- Breast Conserving Therapy (lumpectomy and radiation therapy)
- Total or Simple
- Modified Radical
- Reconstructive Surgery
- Autologous Tissue
- External Beam Radiation
- Internal Radiation
- Interstitial Brachytherapy
- Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI)
- Other Partial Breast Treatments
- Radiofrequency Ablation
Treatment that travels through the bloodstream reaching cancer cells all over the body.
- Hormone Therapy
- Monoclonal Antibody or Targeted Therapy
- Ovarian Ablation
Other treatment modalities include clinical trial options.