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Breast Cancer Awareness - Education

Education Categories:

Category: Treatment Options by Stage

Treatment Options by Stage

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

Treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) may include the following:

  • Breast-conserving surgery with or without radiation therapy or hormone therapy.
  • Total mastectomy with or without hormone therapy.
  • Clinical trials testing breast-conserving surgery and hormone therapy with or without radiation therapy.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

Treatment of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) may include the following:

  • Biopsy to diagnose the LCIS followed by regular examinations and regular mammograms to find any changes as early as possible. This is referred to as observation.
  • Tamoxifen to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. This treatment choice is sometimes used in women who have a high risk of getting breast cancer. Most surgeons believe that this is a more aggressive treatment than is needed.
  • Clinical trials testing cancer prevention drugs.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage I, Stage II, Stage IIIA, and Operable Stage IIIC Breast Cancer

Treatment of stage I, stage II, stage IIIA , and operable stage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:

  • Breast-conserving surgery to remove only the cancer and some surrounding breast tissue, followed by lymph node dissection and radiation therapy.
  • Modified radical mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction surgery.
  • A clinical trial evaluating sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by surgery.

Adjuvant therapy (treatment given after surgery to increase the chances of a cure) may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy to the lymph nodes near the breast and to the chest wall after a modified radical mastectomy.
  • Systemic chemotherapy with or without hormone therapy.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • A clinical trial of trastuzumab (Herceptin) combined with systemic chemotherapy.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IIIB, Inoperable Stage IIIC, Stage IV, and Metastatic Breast Cancer

Stage IIIB and inoperable stage IIIC breast cancer

Treatment of stage IIIB and inoperable stage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:

  • Systemic chemotherapy.
  • Systemic chemotherapy followed by surgery (breast-conserving surgery or total mastectomy), with lymph node dissection followed by radiation therapy. Additional systemic therapy (chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or both) may be given.
  • Clinical trials testing new anticancer drugs, new drug combinations, and new ways of giving treatment.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IV and metastatic breast cancer

Treatment of stage IV or metastatic breast cancer may include the following:

  • Hormone therapy and/or systemic chemotherapy with or without trastuzumab (Herceptin).
  • Radiation therapy and/or surgery for relief of pain and other symptoms.
  • Clinical trials testing new systemic chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy.
  • Clinical trials of new combinations of trastuzumab (Herceptin) with anticancer drugs.
  • Clinical trials testing other approaches, including high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
  • Bisphosphonate drugs to reduce bone disease and pain when cancer has spread to the bone.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Acknowledgement given to the National Cancer Institute as originator of the information provided herein, with the NCI web site www.cancer.gov as the source.

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