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Treatment Introduction

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment

Your oncologist will determine how long and how often you will have chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously or by pill, and is usually a combination of drugs.

Radiation

Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy is a process that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. Radiation done after surgery can kill cancer cells that may not be seen during surgery.

Surgery

Surgery for Breast Cancer Treatment

Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today, women have many surgical options and choices.

Breast-Conserving Surgery

A lumpectomy is a type of breast-conserving surgery in which a cancerous lump and a portion of the breast tissue around the cancerous lump are removed, leaving the breast intact.

Mastectomy

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or a portion of a breast is removed as a part of a treatment plan for breast cancer.

Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction surgery involves creating a breast mound that comes as close as possible to the form and appearance of the natural breast.

Lymphedema Following a Mastectomy

Whenever the normal drainage pattern in the lymph nodes is disturbed or damaged—often during surgery to remove the lymph nodes—the arm may swell. This swelling, caused by too much fluid, is called lymphedema.

Post-Mastectomy Prosthesis

A prosthesis can be worn against the skin, inside the pocket of a mastectomy bra, or attached to the chest wall. Prosthetic devices are designed to look feminine and be comfortable.

Hormone Therapy

About Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen has been used to treat both advanced and early stage breast cancer. More recently, tamoxifen is being used as an additional therapy following primary treatment for early stage breast cancer.

About Taxol

Taxol, or paclitaxel, is a drug used for treating certain women who have advanced breast or ovarian cancer. Paclitaxel is a compound that is extracted from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.

Other Treatments

Other Treatments for Breast Cancer

Other treatments for breast cancer include hormone therapy, used to prevent the growth, spread, and recurrence of the cancer, adjuvant therapy, and biological therapy.

Clinical Trials

Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT)

BCPT was a clinical trial that studied tamoxifen as a prevention therapy for those at high risk for breast cancer. Data showed the results of tamoxifen treatment to be "highly significant," with a 49 percent reduction in the number of invasive breast cancers seen across all age groups.

Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR)

STAR was a clinical trial of the drug raloxifene that included more than 19,000 postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer. The results showed that raloxifene worked as well as tamoxifen at reducing breast cancer risk.

Follow-Up

Stay Healthy After Breast Cancer

Now that your treatment is over, you may be tempted to stop going to the doctor for a while. But, it’s more important than ever to have regular checkups.

Sexuality Issues for Women Being Treated for Cancer

Treatment for cancer can cause many changes that may affect your sexuality. It can also change the physical or emotional closeness you share with another person. Different treatments can cause different physical and psychological changes that can affect how you feel, look, and function. These changes may be temporary, or they may last a long time.
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