In the CMC Breast Unit, you will find different doctors specializing in different areas of cancer treatment. The treatment modalities include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. The team of multidisciplinary experts are responsible for creating a patient’s treatment plan that involves several therapies in collaboration with radiologists and pathologists.
A multidisciplinary team in breast cancer care includes a variety of healthcare professionals like specialist doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, and nutritionists.
Cancer treatment recommendations and alternatives are individualized and are based on a number of variables, including:
In breast cancer treatment, doctors may recommend systemic treatment with chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy before surgery for bigger malignancies or those that are developing at a faster rate.
The following are the common types of treatments used for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer:
Surgery for breast cancer is the removal of the tumor along with part of the surrounding healthy tissue. Surgery can also be used to examine the nearby axillary lymph nodes that are normally under the arm.
There are two types of surgery for breast cancer:
Chemotherapy is the use of medication to kill cancer cells, typically by preventing the growth, division, and production of new cancer cells. This can be administered before surgery to shrink a large tumor thus making surgery easier and/or lower the chance of recurrence.
Also known as endocrine therapy, this is a fairly effective treatment for the majority of cancers that test positive for either the ER or PR hormone receptors. Prior to surgery, hormonal therapy may also be used to shrink a tumor. This will facilitate surgery and/or reduce the risk of recurrence.
This is a therapeutic treatment that targets cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that supports the development and survival of cancer. These therapies are extremely targeted and operate differently from chemotherapy. This form of therapy prevents the development and spread of cancer cells while minimizing harm to healthy cells.
This is a type of cancer treatment that uses the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer by improving the patient’s immune system’s ability to attack cancer cells.
This is a type of treatment given prior to surgery to decrease a big tumor and/or lower the chance of recurrence. Certain types of breast cancer patients may get neoadjuvant chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy.
Radiation therapy for the treatment of breast cancer is a procedure that involves the use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. It is normally performed by a radiation oncologist, a doctor specially trained in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer.