Back to Breast cancer in women. You may have one of these treatments, or a combination. The type or combination of treatments you have will depend on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it's at.
Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.
Weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the possible risks and side effects. Most women with breast cancer will have some type of surgery to remove the tumor. Depending on the type of breast cancer and how advanced it is, you might need other types of treatment as well, either before or after surgery, or sometimes both.
Skip to Content. Use the menu to see other pages. This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer. When making treatment plan decisions, you are encouraged to consider clinical trials as an option.
Metastatic breast cancer also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer is not a specific type of breast cancer. It's the most advanced stage of breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs in the body most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain.
About one of every five breast cancers presents with high levels of HER2 proteins. Known as HER2-positive breast cancer, these tumors typically show an aggressive behavior—a greater likelihood of metastasis and relapse and decreased patient survival than HER2 negative types—and are physiologically dependent on the abundance of HER2. Extensive research in the s and '90s showed that, indeed, treating HER2-positive breast cancer cells with antibodies that bind specifically to HER2 could slow down the cells' growth in a laboratory dish.
A core needle biopsy uses a long, hollow tube to extract a sample of tissue. Here, a biopsy of a suspicious breast lump is being done. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.
A variety of treatments for breast cancer exist, and treatment is available at every stage of cancer. Most people need a combination of two or more treatments. After diagnosis, your doctor will determine the stage of your cancer.
Early breast cancer is contained in the breast. Or, it has only spread to the lymph nodes in the underarm area. This term often describes stage I and stage II breast cancer.
This summary discusses primary epithelial breast cancers in women. The breast is rarely affected by other tumors such as lymphomas, sarcomas, or melanomas. Refer to the following PDQ summaries for more information on these cancer types:. Breast cancer also affects men and children and may occur during pregnancy, although it is rare in these populations.