Monday, April 5, 2010

Treatments for Breast Cancer

Before starting treatment, talk about contraception with your doctor. If you are in childbearing age, it is important to use contraception during treatment, even if your periods stop. You may still be fertile during this period and get pregnant. However, some treatments against cancer can affect fetal development.


The type of surgery will depend on the tumor location and size. During the intervention, there will be partial or total removal of the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue. The operation will be performed under general anesthesia (you are asleep) and you will be hospitalized for several days after the operation.

Surgery is the treatment most often recommended in cases of breast cancer. The interventions are of two types:

    * Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy): removal of a breast tumor and some surrounding tissue, but not the entire breast;
    * Mastectomy: removal of the entire breast

During surgery, the surgeon generally removes some lymph nodes under the armpit to see if they contain cancer cells. This procedure is called axillary dissection. It could also offer a more recent technique, called sentinel node biopsy, which can reduce the number of nodes removed.

After surgery, it may be that you felt some pain or nausea, or you have no appetite. These side effects are temporary and can be mitigated. Depending on the amount of breast tissue removed and the location of the tumor, it may be that your breast no longer look the same after surgery. In some cases, it is possible to have breast reconstruction during the same operation, otherwise you will have the opportunity later.

Removal of lymph nodes under the armpit can cause an accumulation of lymph fluid and swelling in the arm and hand. This is called lymphedema.

Care practices and side effects after surgery


In external radiotherapy, using a large device that can direct a beam of radiation to the precise location of the tumor. The radiation damages the cells that are in the path of the beam - normal cells as cancer cells. In internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy, radioactive elements are placed directly into or near the tumor.

The lumpectomy is almost always followed by external radiation therapy to destroy any cancer cells that may still be present in the breast area. In some cases, the region of lymph nodes will also be treated. Sometimes use of radiotherapy after a mastectomy.

Side effects of radiation therapy are usually mild and vary by body part being treated. Perhaps you feel more tired than usual or notice that your skin looks different (it may be red or be sensitive to the touch) to the treated area. The nipple and the fold under the breast may also be sensitive or sore. These side effects result from damage to healthy cells, they usually fade away once the treatment is completed and the cells were regenerated. The radiation directed toward the armpit may increase the risk of lymphedema.

Side effects of radiotherapy


Chemotherapy can be administered as tablets or by injection. Chemotherapy drugs prevent the development and spread of cancer cells, but they also damage the cells that are healthy. Healthy cells can recover over time, but in the meantime, the treatment may cause some side effects at home, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, hair loss and increased risk of infection .

Some chemotherapy drugs can affect fertility. If you plan to have children after treatment, discuss the options available to you with your doctor.

Side effects of chemotherapy


Hormones are chemical substances that are either naturally secreted by the human body, is synthesized in the laboratory. Hormone therapy is a treatment that removes hormones or your body that neutralizes the effects to prevent cancer cells from developing. You can change hormone levels with medication, with surgery or radiotherapy.

If the hormonal receptor status of the tumor that you are achieving is positive, your doctor may suggest to take hormone.

The hormonal drug can be administered as tablets or by injection, or both. Side effects vary from one drug to another. You may experience symptoms similar to those of menopause: irregular periods, hot flushes, vaginal irritation or loss. These effects can usually be mitigated or alleviated. They often disappear after treatment, but it may happen that the menopause is final.

Biological therapy

This form of breast cancer treatment involves using drugs to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells and mobilize the body's immune system to destroy them.

Biological therapy may be indicated for women whose breast cancer has a high protein Her2. The drug is given by injection, sometimes in combination with chemotherapy. It can cause side effects similar to flu symptoms (fever, chills, nausea), headache, rash or heart problems.

Pain relief

See how you can mitigate and control the pain as discomfort, side effects and stress while you follow your treatments against cancer.

Coping with cancer
However, regardless of your (newly diagnosed cancer, current treatment or coach to a person with cancer), you will probably solve many practical problems, difficult decisions and manage a range of emotions.

1 comment:

  1. Hypnotherapy can help in coping with cancer. It can ease the effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and release worries and tensions.