Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021: Know about the treatment for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is seen when some breast tissue cells start to grow abnormally. Breast cancer is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates all over the world. But screening and timely diagnosis can be key in detecting it early. There are treatments available for breast cancer. These are based on the kind of breast cancer and its spread.
Here are some ways in which this deadly cancer can be treated.
Surgery: It is done to remove the cancerous tissue from the breast. Surgery is done in the form of a lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, radical mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction.
Chemotherapy: Using specific medication to shrink or kill the cancer cells. These drugs can be pills you take, or medicines injected in the veins, or even both.
Hormonal therapy. This therapy works by blocking cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
Radiation therapy: Here, high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) are used to kill the cancer cells. Your doctor will decide the length of chemotherapy and radiation cycles.
Targeted therapy: This is also widely used to attack specific breast cancer cells without harming normal cells. Now, this therapy is combined with traditional chemotherapy. Targeted drugs tend to have less severe side-effects when compared to the standard chemotherapy drugs.
Lifestyle modification: Along with treatment, you will have to embrace a healthy lifestyle. It will be imperative for you to exercise daily once you get back on track after the treatment. You will have to eat a well-balanced diet inclusive of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses and lentils. Avoid eating junk and processed foods. Give up on smoking and alcohol. Try to maintain optimum weight and stay stress-free to improve the quality of life. Taking charge of your health is essential. So, the focus should be on healthy living after undergoing any procedure or surgery.
Take-home message: The treatment is dependent on the severity, location, and stage of cancer. Choosing the treatment that is right for you is a lengthy process. Your doctor will explain to you the procedure and its benefits, and how your body will react to it. You need to also avoid self-medication or skipping medicines.
About the author: Dr Vidhi Shah, Consultant breast surgeon, ACI Cumballa Hill Hospital