Around 12% of women in this country will develop breast cancer at some point in their life. While rare, breast cancer may also occur in men. The chances of a man developing breast cancer in this country is around 1 in 1,000. Since 2000, the incidents of breast cancer have been decreasing. It is believed that this is in part due to the fact that fewer women have started to use Hormone Replacement Therapy, which is suggested to be linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Unfortunately, it is believed that some 40,290 women died of breast cancer last year alone, although this represents a significant drop since 1989. Women under the age of 50 have the highest survival rates, but improvements in medical technology also have a role to play. Only lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer to this day.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, a team of specialists should be assigned to your case. By placing you at the center, they will come up with the best choice among the breast cancer treatment options. The main options are radiotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and targeted or biological therapy. It is possible to have only one of these treatments, or you may need several. It all depends on the stage the cancer is in, and how it was diagnosed. If found at screening, for instance, it could still be in an early stage. However, if found at symptoms, the stage is likely to be more advanced and a more aggressive treatment will be needed.
How to Choose the Right Treatment:
You will work together with your team of specialists to find the best one among the breast cancer treatment options. Consideration will be given to the grade and stage of cancer, and also to your overall health. Another important consideration is whether you have already gone through menopause or not. Naturally, you can always ask questions to any member of your team, and there is no such thing as a silly question.
Breast Cancer Treatment Overview:
In almost all cases, surgery will be offered first. The type of surgery that is most suitable for you will depend on what type of breast cancer you are diagnosed with. Usually, after surgery, you will be treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In some cases, biological treatment or hormone treatment may also be suggested. Again, the best one among the breast cancer treatment options will depend on your specific breast cancer type. Your physician will discuss what the best treatment plan for you is. In some cases, you will not start with surgery but rather with hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
Secondary Breast Cancer:
In most cases, breast cancer is discovered when it is still in an early stage. Unfortunately, in some women, metastasis is present, which means the cancer has already started to spread. In that case, different treatments may be recommended. Metastasis or advanced cancer is not curable. This means that the treatment focus on helping the patient achieve 'remission'. This means that the goal to have the cancer shrink and sometimes even completely disappear, enabling you to enjoy life and feel normal again.