Surgery is an effective way to remove a tumor and reduce the risk of disease in the area. It is especially useful for early-stage cancers that have not spread to other parts of the body. Surgery can also be used to treat cancer that has spread beyond its original site. Cancer treatment is the use of surgery, radiation, medications, and other therapies to cure a cancer, reduce its size, or stop its progression.
Surgery is the most common primary treatment for most types of cancer, except blood cancers. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be used as primary treatment if the cancer is particularly sensitive to these therapies. Adjuvant therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy are used to supplement primary treatments. Palliative treatments can help relieve side effects of treatment or symptoms caused by the cancer itself.
Medical oncologists treat cancer with medications such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. Radiation oncologists treat cancer with radiation therapy. A tumor board is a group of medical experts from all areas of cancer care who work together to decide the best treatment plan. Treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as newer techniques such as interventional radiology and immunotherapy.
A lumpectomy is a type of surgery that removes the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue around it. Radiation therapy may be used after surgery to target breast tissue remaining in younger patients, patients with hormone-receptor-negative tumors, and patients with larger tumors. Chemotherapy is one of the most commonly used treatments for advanced cancer and can be used in combination with other treatments as part of a larger treatment plan. Clinical trials have also proven the administration of fewer medications or radiation therapy or the performance of less extensive surgeries than those usually performed as standard treatment.
Hormone therapy, also called endocrine therapy, is an effective treatment for most tumors that test positive for estrogen or progesterone receptors (ER positive or PR positive). Radiation therapy further reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence in the same breast compared to surgery alone. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy can be given as neoadjuvant treatments for certain types of breast cancer. Your doctor will likely suggest breast imaging after treatment for surgical planning or if you think the cancer may have progressed despite treatment.