Breast cancer

Treatment options

After you've been diagnosed, your specialist team will meet to review your pathology results and plan a course of treatment.

This is known as a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT) and is attended by the clinicians involved in your diagnosis and treatment. Your specialist will discuss the recommendations with you afterwards and then you can decide on the option that you feel most comfortable with.

Treatment for breast cancer can be given both locally (surgery and radiation therapy) and systemically (chemotherapy, biological therapy, hormone therapy).

Each treatment plan is individualised, as no two cases of breast cancer are exactly the same. It is important to understand why a particular treatment plan has been recommended for you and what the expected outcomes and possible side effects are. Many people find that it helps to take a friend or family member to appointments to help remember what is discussed, and to take notes.

Cancer treatments can be complex so don't be afraid to ask for clearer explanations. Remember that no treatment is undertaken without your consent.

Surgery

The first step in the treatment of early breast cancer is usually surgery to remove the cancer from the breast.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treatment uses drugs to disrupt the cycles of cell production, causing cancer cells to die.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) uses high energy X- ray beams to disrupt the DNA in cancer cells, to kill or control their growth.

Hormonal Therapy

Hormone therapies block the production of oestrogen, or prevent it from stimulating breast cancer cell growth.

Targeted Therapy

The following therapies target specific receptors that control the growth of cancer cells.

Questions To Ask

Click here to find a list of useful questions to ask your surgeon.