Breast cancer: treatment
If you have detected “breast cancer”, you will receive an individual treatment plan from the treating physicians . It mainly depends on the type and stage of your tumor as well as the characteristics of the cancer cells – for example, whether they have receptors for hormones and / or growth factors on their surface. In addition, when planning your treatment, physicians will take into account your age, general health, and hormone status (whether you are menopausal or not).
In most cases, the treatment plan consists of several components (ie multimodal): Doctors combine the treatment methods that promise the best chance of success in your case. In principle, the following treatment options are available for breast cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, (anti) hormone therapy and targeted therapies such as antibody therapy.
Adjuvant, neoadjuvant, palliative
Breast cancer surgery is performed in almost all patients. In most cases, the procedure is followed by another type of therapy to improve the success of the treatment. This is what medical professionals call “adjuvant” . For example, many women receive adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Sometimes chemotherapy or radiation is performed before the surgical removal of a tumor. With it one wants to reduce the tumor before the intervention. Physicians in this case speak of a neoadjuvant treatment in breast cancer.
Chemotherapy and others can also be used palliatively : if breast cancer has progressed to the point where it can no longer cure, palliative treatment can at least slow down tumor growth and relieve symptoms.