Breast Cancer

Treatment for breast cancer: in women and men – 2022

breast cancer

Treatment for breast cancer: in women, men

Treatment for breast cancer varies according to the degree of tumor development, and can be done through chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.

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Treatment for breast cancer: in women, men

Treatment for breast cancer varies according to the degree of tumor development, and can be done through chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. Other factors that may influence the choice of treatment are the characteristics of the tumor and the characteristics of the woman, such as age, presence of associated diseases or not, and the fact that she has already entered menopause.

These treatments are mainly indicated for malignant tumors, and in the case of benign breast cancer, it is usually only necessary to maintain constant surveillance of the nodule, without the need for any type of treatment. In the case of metastatic breast cancer, where the tumor is very developed, it may be necessary to use a combination of all treatments to try to fight all the cancer cells and increase the chances of cure.

Treatment for breast cancer can be provided by the SUS free of charge at the High Complexity Oncology Care Units, known as UNACON and at the High Complexity Oncology Care Centers, also known as CACON. To start treatment for cancer it is important to contact INCA and follow all the recommended indications to carry out the treatment as close to home as possible.

The main therapeutic techniques that can be indicated by the oncologist and the mastologist are:

1. Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy aims to decrease the amount of female hormones circulating in the bloodstream, preventing the proliferation of cancer cells. This type of treatment is recommended in the case of “hormone receptor positive” breast cancer, that is, those who benefit from therapy with hormonal drugs, since tumor cells have receptors.

The doctor may indicate the use of Tamoxifen or Fulvestrant, which should be used for about 5 years, even if the woman no longer shows signs of cancer. In addition, tamoxifen may be indicated before or after surgery to remove the tumor.

2. Surgery

Surgery is indicated for any type of breast tumor, regardless of size, as it removes many cancer cells, increasing the chances of healing and facilitating the rest of the treatment. The type of surgery varies according to the size of the tumor, and the radical mastectomy, in which the breast is removed completely, is only used in the most severe cases when the cancer is very spread. In other cases, only the part of the breast where the tumor is located is usually removed, known as a partial mastectomy.

After surgery, the doctor may also recommend a few sessions of radiotherapy to eliminate tumor cells that may not have been removed, especially in cases of high-risk primary breast cancer or advanced breast cancer.

3. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treatment is done with the combined use of several drugs indicated by the oncologist and side effects such as nausea, vomiting, headache, lack of appetite and hair loss are common. Therefore, it is important to follow up with a psychologist to help face these changes.

4. Radiotherapy

The treatment of breast cancer with radiotherapy is indicated when chemotherapy is not enough to eliminate all cancer cells. In this type of treatment, the patient is subjected to direct radiation in the breast and armpit region and it is common to complement it with chemotherapy.

5. Physiotherapy

After the surgery to remove the breast, physiotherapy should be started to combat swelling in the arm, increase the range of movements with the shoulder, improve body posture, normalize sensitivity and decrease spasms and scar adhesion, which are complications resulting from surgery associated with radiotherapy, which affect all women treated in this way.

Male breast cancer treatment

The treatment of breast cancer in men is done with the same methods used in women, however, as the diagnosis is usually made at a more advanced stage of the disease, there is less chance of cure than women diagnosed early in the disease.


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