How Is Breast Cancer Treated?

Women's Diagnostic Center

For most women, a breast cancer diagnosis signals a major turning point in their lives. To increase the chances of defeating breast cancer, women should begin treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers several breast cancer treatments; your best option depends on the stage of the cancer, your age, and numerous other factors.

Surgery
Most women with breast cancer opt for surgery to remove the cancer. A woman might undergo a lumpectomy to remove a small tumor, or a partial mastectomy to remove the larger area around the tumor. Some women undergo a total mastectomy, which involves the removal of the entire cancerous breast.  

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells or prevent them from dividing. This treatment method may be administered in the form of pills or intravenously. Women may receive chemotherapy treatment before surgery, to make the cancer small enough to surgically remove; after surgery, to kill remaining cancer cells; or as the main method of cancer treatment .  

Hormonal Therapy
Even after surgery, there’s always a chance that cancer can come back. To reduce the likelihood of this occurrence, some doctors recommend hormone therapy to block estrogen, which supports the growth of breast cancer. Hormone therapy may also be used before the main method of treatment, whether it’s surgery or radiation.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses highly focused energy to kill breast cancer cells. The most common type of radiation therapy is external beam radiation, which involves a machine that focuses a beam from outside the patient’s body. Many doctors recommend radiation therapy after surgery to reduce the chances of cancer returning.

There’s no single breast cancer treatment that works for everyone. For help deciding which treatment plan has the best chance of success for your particular case of cancer, call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000. We provide expert cancer care services to women in West Hills and surrounding areas. If you should ever experience a medical emergency, be sure to use our Text ER service to stay up to date on ER wait times. 

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