<A pink rose to commemorate those affected by breast cancer. A look at  Breast Cancer
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   Treatments and Prevention

Cancer treatments can either be local or systemic. Local treatments include surgery and radiation to remove density and control cancer cells. Systemic treatments attack or control cancer cells and include chemotherapy and hormone therapy.


SURGERY
RADIOTHERAPY
CHEMOTHERAPY
HORMONE THERAPY
PREVENTION

SURGERY

Surgery is the most common way to treat breast cancer. Lumpectomy is a way to remove the malignant tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. More extensive operations may take parts or the entire breast. In segmental mastectomy, the surgeon removes only the afflicted portion of the breast, while simple mastectomy removes the entire breast. Side effects include loss of balance and discomfort in the back and neck. Skin may be tight and weak.



RADIOTHERAPY

Radiotherapy can be given internally or externally. It uses high energy rays to kill cancer and cells and stop their spread. Women who receive theses treatments are treated daily or from week to week. In internal radiation treatments, implants of radioactive material in plastic tubes are placed within the breast. Side effects include exhaustion and red, dry, tender skin.



CHEMOTHERAPY

This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Cancer patients will usually be given medications daily through injections in the arm. Side effects include killing not only cancer cells, but also blood cells, hair follicle cells, and cells in the digestive tract. Patients may bruise and bleed easily and may lose their hair, have a loss of appetite, experience nausea, vomiting and mouth sores. Other effects also include hot flashes, vaginal discharge and irregular periods.



HORMONE THERAPY

This entails using drugs to alter hormone functioning or surgically removing organs that produce hormones. Side effects include hot flashes, vaginal discharge and pain. In use of the drug, Tamoxtan, eye damage, liver failure and cancer of the uterus lining have also been experiences.



PREVENTION

Early detection increase the possibility of recurring and allow the treatment option to be greater. Breast self-examination and regular mammograms are encouraged for early detection.
The National Cancer Institute recommends eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis.
According to an article by Faith Reidenbach, adjuvant chemotherapy is effective in the early stages of breast cancer. She states that, “37% of women who had chemo done, also had a reduction of recurrence and a 34% reduction of mortality risk.”
Early detection is still the best protection.


The following link leads to the Multimedia Library of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Here, viewers can learn more about the latest findings in breast cancer treatments.
Breast Cancer Multimedia

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©2003 Ashley Cisneros

Send me an E-mail at acisnero@ufl.edu

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