Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast cancer is one of the common cancers of women and predominantly affects nulliparous women after their menopause. Depending on the onset, severity, and degree of malignancy of the carcinoma, the oncologist will decide on a combination of breast cancer treatment options for the patients. The four common treatment options to treat or cure cancer of the mammary glands are as follows.
Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
The word ‘Chemo” refers to chemicals. Chemotherapy is the treatment module where medicines and chemical drugs are used to kill cancerous cells. Though chemotherapy brings about a lot of side effects, it is also proven to be beneficial in killing cancer cells. The benefits of chemotherapy are threefold.
- As adjuvant therapy: Chemo drugs are given to prevent the recurrence of cancer from radiation therapy and surgery.
- Non-Adjuvant therapy: Chemo drugs are used to shrink the size of the tumour prior to removing it surgically.
- Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.
Depending on breast cancer symptoms and the severity of the malignancy, the doctor will decide on combining different chemo drugs for optimal breast cancer treatment outcomes.
Chemotherapy drugs are either given in the form of a tablet or in a vein daily, weekly or every 15 days or four weeks. Sometimes, a large central catheter can be placed on the internal jugular vein for repeated chemo cycles. This helps in reducing the hassles of repeated venipunctures.
Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy makes use of the high level of radioactive rays to kill cancer cells and to restrict them from dividing, growing, spreading and invading other body parts. Radiation therapy targets predominantly the cancer cells and causes little or no damage to the surrounding healthy cells.
There are three main types of radiation therapy.
- External beam radiation therapy: This is the most common type of radiation therapy to treat breast cancer. Radioactive beams are emitted from a machine and are targeted on a specific area of the mammary glands that are affected by the disease.
- Brachytherapy: Radioactive patches are implanted under the skin in specific areas of the body. This patch emits radiation at frequent intervals to shrink the cancer cells.
- Proton therapy: This is also an external beam radiation therapy where the energy from the protons or positively charged ions are dispersed to damage the DNA of the cancer cells so that they no longer grow and multiply.
Not everyone with a cancer diagnosis is subjected to radiation therapy. It is recommended for those who are candidates for mastectomy or breast removal surgery to decrease or shrink the size of the tumour. It is also given to those who have undergone mastectomy and lumpectomy surgeries, to lower the risk of cancer spreading to the surrounding normal breast tissue. Radiation therapy is also used to treat advanced breast cancer, where surgery is not possible owing to metastasis.
There are not many side effects of radiation therapy except for skin damage. Though the technician places marks on the skin to focus the beams on specific body parts, the radiation can also affect the surrounding healthy tissue. But the procedure is painless and is highly effective in shrinking the tumour.
Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
Some types of breast cancer grow and multiply in the presence of excess female reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Hormone therapy is also known as endocrine therapy and it acts by removing, adding or blocking the hormones to treat the disease. This therapy can be mediated by using drugs that limit the scope of estrogen and progesterone that helps in the growth of cancerous cells in the breast. Or by using drugs and/or surgery to prevent the ovaries from making these two hormones. Breast cancer treatment therefore, like other cancers, largely depends on the stage and clinical condition of the patient to undergo a single therapy or a combined therapy with hormonal therapy as an integral part of it.
Patients who will undergo hormone therapy as part of their breast cancer treatment plan will be selected by the doctor based on the availability of receptors for estrogen and progesterone on the surface of their tumor cells. If the receptors are present, then it means that the tumor cells require hormones to grow. In such instances, hormone therapy is the treatment of choice in attacking the tumor. Women who had their tumor removed surgically are also subjected to hormone therapy to prevent relapse.
Those women who don’t have the diagnosis of breast carcinoma but carry genes that raise the risk of cancer, from a strong family history are also subjected to hormone therapy to lower the chances of the disease.
Surgical Treatment for Breast Cancer
Removing the breast partially or completely is the final choice of treatment for those with advanced cancers. Different types of procedures are available when it comes to partial or total mastectomy and it is up to the oncologist to decide on the best option for their clients.
- Simple or total mastectomy:
The doctor removes the complete mammary gland along with the nipple in this procedure. The lymph nodes are not removed from the axilla. This procedure is performed with simple tumours that have not spread to the adjacent lymph nodes and organs.
- Modified or radical mastectomy:
The surgeon removes the entire breast tissue along with the nipple and the lymph nodes in the axilla or armpit. This is the treatment of choice for cancers that have spread to the adjacent lymph nodes.
- Radical mastectomy:
When cancer has affected the underlying chest muscles, then the client will have her breasts, lymph nodes, nipple, and the underlying chest muscles removed. This is the last treatment of choice, as it is disfiguring and takes a long recovery time for the women.
The doctor removes only the tumour along with some of the breast tissue that surrounds it. This procedure is carried out in the early stages of cancer when the lump is small and localized. After the procedure, the client is subjected to radiation treatment to avoid the spread of cancer cells.
Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India
Breast Cancer is a disorder that utterly hampers a woman both emotionally and physically. It would be best if you had a medical front and medical veterans to deals with the best of their abilities. Similar to other cancer types, breast cancer also grows through diverse stages. Breast cancer phases are based on the dimensions of the breast tumour, which feels like a lump. It would be best if you found well-established and cost-effective breast cancer treatments in India.
- The cost of breast cancer chemotherapy is around Rs 1.5 lakhs
- The radiation therapy is available at approximately Rs 2.5 lakhs
- The Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India would be about 3-4 lakhs
Cancer Rounds have highly capable, experienced oncologists and surgeons who have expertise in treating breast cancer. Here people come around different parts of the world due to the lowest Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India.
Visit Cancer Rounds for more useful information on Breast Cancer Symptoms and Breast Cancer Treatment. You can also visit our Facebook Page for relevant videos like “Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms’ and “Breast Self-examination.”