In general, the therapeutic strategy is determined depending on the stage of the tumor at diagnosis, your age and overall health status, and histo-prognostic factors of the tumor: size, grade, histological type, lymph node metastases or not, hormone receptors, and others. The procedures, protocols and the sequence of the treatment are usually determined by several medical experts. The decision requires great caution because the outcome of the therapy (success or failure) depends on it. In most cases of breast cancer, the treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
There is no single treatment for breast cancer; treatment is multidisciplinary. Breast cancer treatment often includes a combination of several therapies mainly surgical therapy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy. The effectiveness of each type of treatment depends on the type of cancer, its extension and the participation of the patient. However, the ideal therapy for breast cancer is surgical removal of the tumor as long as it is possible. Surgery is used not only as a therapeutic procedure but also as a diagnostic (biopsy).
For localized breast cancer, treatment can lead to complete recovery. In this case, the goal of the treatment is curative. In a curative breast cancer treatment, surgery is essential;chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy are used to reduce the size of the tumor and/or reduce the risk of relapse. However, surgery is not without side effects. A woman who has her breasts removed may suffer psychological and social problems. The removal of the breast (s) can affect her femininity and thus her personality.
In the case of advanced or metastatic breast cancer, it is very difficult to achieve a complete cure. The goal of treatment is often to increase the chance of survival or prolong the life of the patient. The treatment of metastatic breast cancer is based primarily on chemotherapy and hormone therapy. These therapies can reduce the size of the tumor to make surgery possible. Radiotherapy and surgery are considered if the metastatic sites are accessible to treatment: liver metastases for instance. Radiation therapy may be considered as a palliative treatment to reduce symptoms, mainly bone pain.