What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor in women. Fortunately, the vast majority of tumors are diagnosed at very early stages thanks to mammography, so overall survival is very good.
Since its causes are not yet known, it is not possible to prevent it. Hence, the importance of early diagnosis, by performing screening with mammography, to allow specialized control and treatment with the aim of reducing mortality.
- Surgery: removal of tumor as well as axillary lymph nodes.
- Adjuvant radiotherapy: administered after surgical treatment to decrease the possibility of local tumor recurrence. Conservative surgery (lumpectomy / tumorectomy) is always followed by radiotherapy, both on the breast and on the chest wall and axilla in selected cases.
- Chemotherapy: Adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy is applied after surgery in selected cases. It is related to multiple factors that include: the patient’s age, tumor size, histological grade, affected axillary lymph nodes, hormonal receptors, and the presence of certain molecular alterations of the tumor such as the overexpression of Her / 2 neu. In some cases, however, chemotherapy can be indicated before surgery to reduce the tumor size.
- Hormonotherapy: currently almost all patients receive a preventive hormonal treatment for 5 years, which reduce the risk of recurrences. The most commonly drug used is tamoxifen.