Breast cancer patients can have treatment choices if it is detected early, but if breast cancer is detected late, there is very little to be done other than administer palliative care. Treatment also depends on the stage and how far the cancer cells have spread. Treatment may be used alone or combined.
A lump in the breast does not necessarily mean cancer. When the lump is removed, it is called lumpectomy. This is a minor surgery that takes few hours and one can return home the same day while the lump is sent to the laboratory for biopsy. The pathologist does the test and delivers the verdict.
A surgery can also be performed to remove the lump or breast, removal of the breast is called mastectomy. There are different types of surgeries, depending on the size of the tumor or how far the cancer cells have spread.
Chemotherapy means treatment with medications or chemicals. This treatment is used to:
- Cure cancer
- To slow cancer growth
- To kill cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body from the original tumour.
- To keep the cancer from spreading.
- To relieve symptoms that may be caused by cancer.
Other types of treatments include radiotherapy and hormone therapy.