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Breast Cancer Doctors help in and after the surgery
During the surgery, breast cancer doctors must pay special attention to chemotherapy to kill all tumor cells. After the surgery, they usually apply radiation therapy to kill the unexpected remaining tumor cells that have not been removed in the previous step. This article will focus on the
Breast Cancer Doctors use Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is applied by breast cancer doctors alter a patient undergoes surgery to remove the cancer. The goal is to kill cancer cells remaining at the site from which the tumor was removed and from surrounding areas. Radiation therapy is usually given over a period of several weeks. Swelling in the breast, reddening and blistering of the skin, and fatigue are common after radiation therapy, but these effects usually disappear after several months. Doctors say the rate of breast cancer recurrence in the area where surgery was performed seems to decrease with age, so some experts do not recommend radiation therapy in all older women.
Breast Cancer Doctors use Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is used by the breast cancer doctors to kill cancer cells that were not removed during surgery or killed by radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is generally recommended when staging tests suggest that the cancer has spread beyond the area of the breast.
The choice of chemotherapy drugs applied by the doctors depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the breast cancer. Chemotherapy drugs are usually given intravenously, but some can be taken by mouth. The most commonly used drugs include cyclophosphamide, orubicin, epirubicin, fluorouracil, methotrexate, docetaxel, paclitaxel, and vinorelbine. Breast cancer doctors and experts also observe that most women experience side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and hair loss, regardless of the drugs used, but the severity of the side effects depends on which drugs are used.
Doctors can also use trastuzumab, which is an antibody, primarily for treatment of more advanced breast cancers. However, increasingly, it is being used earlier in the treatment of cancers with increased HER-2/neu receptors.
Drugs that block the actions of estrogen and progesterone may be used by the breast cancer doctors when the tumor cells have receptors for these hormones. Hormone blocking drugs work better to control cancers that are positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors than they do for breast cancers that are positive for only one or the other. Tamoxifen is currently the most commonly used estrogen blocking drug. This drug increases the likelihood of survival in women whose cancers are estrogen receptorâ€”positive. Breast cancer doctors can also use other newer drugs that block the effects of hormones. These so-called aromatase inhibitors have proven effectiveness and are now frequently being used before tamoxifen. Anastrozole, one such aromatase inhibitor, may improve survival and result in fewer side effects than tamoxifen does.
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