In a nutshell
This study reviewed early breast cancer (EBC) treatment guidelines.
Breast cancer (BC) is a common and treatable form of cancer. Understanding treatment options is important to improve patient care. Treatment options include surgery and radiotherapy (RT). Adjuvant systemic treatment (AST) is a non-surgical option. AST involves taking medication to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery. Neoadjuvant AST (NAST) involves taking medication before surgery to shrink tumors. These drug regimens target specific receptors or proteins on cancer cells. Chemotherapy (CT) involves drugs that kill rapidly dividing cells including cancer cells. CT has many side effects.
It is important to research the most recent treatments for early breast cancer.
Methods & findings
BC screening is recommended every 1-2 years in women over 50. If there is a family history of BC an MRI scan should also be done in addition to a mammogram. Local treatment of BC involves surgery. Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is the most common choice. This involves removal of the tumor only. For some patients, total breast removal (mastectomy, MT) is necessary. If so, an immediate breast reconstruction (BRC) should be considered. This is not suitable for patients with inflammatory BC.
Whole breast RT is recommended in patients after BCS. RT after MT is recommended for high-risk patients. RT is recommended for patients with cancer in the lymph nodes. RT can be administered immediately after BRC. AST should start 3-6 weeks after surgery. NAST should start within 2-4 weeks of BC diagnosis. The type of medication will depend on the type of BC. Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) should be prescribed to premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive BC. Postmenopausal women should receive letrozole (Femara). These are hormonal therapies. CT should be administered for 12-24 weeks. Patients with HER2-positive BC should be treated with trastuzumab (Herceptin).
The bottom line
This study reviewed EBC treatment guidelines.
The fine print
This study reviewed the standards of care. Individual patient treatment may be influenced by a number of these factors.
If you have any concerns regarding breast cancer, please consult with your doctor.
Published By :
Annals of oncology: official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology
Jun 04, 2019
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