What is Breast Cancer Treatment?
Susan K. Williford, M.D., Medical Oncologist Explains
The first treatment of breast cancer is to remove more of the tissue. This can be performed by either a lumpectomy where a greater section of the breast is removed or by a mastectomy where all of the breast is removed.
We also remove lymph nodes under the arm called axillary lymph nodes by a technique called sentinel lymph node resection. This gets the first lymph node that the tumor could have spread to under the arm. Other treatments, in addition to surgery, may be needed.
One class of treatment is called hormone therapy. These are anti-estrogens. One you may have heard of is tamoxifen. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen at breast cancer cells. Another drug class that is used in postmenopausal women is the class of aromatase inhibitors. These block enzymes that convert testosterone to active estrogen found in the adrenal glands and in fatty tissue.
Another treatment option is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is usually given in the vein through a device called a port-a-cath which is placed under the woman’s collarbone under the skin. Side effects of chemotherapy depend on which chemicals are chosen based on the biology of the tumor.
Breast cancer is also stained for estrogen and progesterone receptors and a surface marker called her2, which is used to guide therapy.
Radiation treatment may also be needed in addition to surgery for breast cancer. Radiation is given especially if a woman has had a lumpectomy in order to sterilize other cells that may be starting in other parts of the breast. Radiation can also be used with stage four breast cancer especially to help with pain.
Own Your Breast Cancer Treatment
What is TrialJectory?
Personalized breast cancer treatment options. 100% Free.
“This is important for every cancer patient to know: You have to advocate for yourself. Don’t take no for an answer too easily”
Dr. Bernard Chinnasami,
Medical Director & Senior Oncologist
“Anyone who has to hear the words ‘you have cancer’ should see what’s a match at TrialJectory right away.”
Breast Cancer patient
“Patients with cancer treated in clinical trials lived longer”
Penn State Cancer Institute – 2020 study of 12 million patients
“Cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials receive the best management of care”
-NCCN 2019 Guidelines
How TrialJectory Empowers Breast Cancer Patients
Know YOUR Breast Cancer Treatment Options
Breast cancer research is evolving so rapidly it’s become impossible for oncologists to be aware of all options. TrialJectory creates a personalized list of breast cancer clinical trials that matches your exact diagnosis.
AI Decision Assistance
Our artificial intelligence technology curates massive volumes of breast cancer research data and instantly presents it in easy to understand language. You can share the results with your oncologist and together make the right decisions about your breast cancer treatment.
You’re Not Alone
See the breast cancer treatments of other patients like you with our Treatment Finder. You’ll see how many patients received different treatments and the same treatments, the outcome, and which clinical trials they were matched to.
No Big Budget Bias
Explore options without the influence of drug company and hospital advertising budgets. The company that spends the most on marketing their breast cancer drugs should not determine your cancer treatment.
"TrialJectory researched all cancer treatment options. They've been amazing"
Ready to Own Your Breast Cancer Journey?
- Complete the breast cancer questionnaire
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- Compare patients’ treatment like yours
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- Get the guidance you need