Breast cancer is most often found in women, but in rare cases, men can also get this type of cancer. Like other types of cancers, breast cancer has a higher treatment success rate when caught early. So, people need to watch for the signs and symptoms to get checked if they suspect cancer.
While early breast cancer treatment is best, there are treatments available for each stage of cancer; however, the outcomes vary.
What Are Symptoms To Watch For?
Early detection leads to a better outcome for fighting breast cancer. For this reason, people should watch for signs and symptoms.
- Lump felt in breast tissue
- Changes in breast or nipple shape
- Changes in breast or nipple texture
- Nipple discharge containing blood
Some other symptoms to watch for include swelling of lymph nodes and inverted nipples. If you notice any of these, it's best to schedule an exam.
What Are Some Treatment Options?
The treatment depends on the stage of cancer. Stage one is the most highly treatable. In this stage, most doctors recommend surgery, radiation, and possibly hormone therapy. The exact plan depends on the patient.
Doctors still consider stage two breast cancer an early stage, even though cancer has spread into nearby lymph nodes. Stages one, two, and three are often treated using surgery and radiation therapy.
The more cancer has spread the more treatment a patient will need. Chemotherapy is also another option along with:
- Hormone therapy
- HER2 drugs
- Some combination of therapies listed
If a patient has inflammatory breast cancer, the treatments differ. This is a more invasive form of cancer. It makes the breast feel warm and look red. This type grows quickly, making it more of a challenge to treat.
When Is Breast Removal Recommended?
Surgery may include a lumpectomy or the removal of the breast. Doctors decide this based on the size of the tumor and its location. This is something the doctors can explain to the patient after all testing is completed, and they introduce a treatment plan.
Can This Cancer Be Cured?
For most patients, breast cancer treatments are successful, and the longer the patient is cancer-free, the more likely cancer won't return. So, since cancer can recur, a patient can go into remission, but the doctor can't say it cures the patient.
Remember, early detection is the key to fighting cancers of all types. This includes breast cancer, so ask your doctor for information on self-breast exams and what to watch for.
If you have additional questions about breast cancer treatment, contact a local medical health professional.