Section 4: Treatment and Palliative Care

Breast cancer management relies on a firm foundation of a multidisciplinary team. The “core” team comprises a surgeon, pathologist, radiologist, medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. The intention is that from the start of a patient’s treatment there is an individual plan, tailored to the exact stage and type of breast cancer that the patient has. – The Breast Health Foundation

Breast cancer is treated in several ways, depending on the type, and how far it has spread. It’s likely you could also get more than one kind of treatment, but the options include:

  • Surgery, when doctors will cut out the cancer tissue.
  • Chemotherapy, when they use medication to shrink or kill the cancer cells. This medication could be in the form of pills, be given as a drip into your veins, or a combination of both.
  • Hormonal therapy, which blocks the cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
  • Biological therapy, which works with your body’s immune system to help it fight the cancer cells, or to control side-effects you may be experiencing from other cancer treatments.
  • Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy rays similar to x-rays to kill the cancer cells.

Treatment of breast cancer is a key area of the new policy, and stipulates that if you have early breast cancer you should undergo either breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or a mastectomy.

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