There are various types of breast cancer treatments which range from conventional, alternative, holistic, and natural ways. It is best to educate yourself prior to your decision. Knowledge brings wisdom and understanding. Gather as much information as possible, ask questions, and join support groups for breast cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the conventional method involves surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone, or targeted therapy. Most breast cancer patients have surgery to remove the cancer from the breast. There are several types of surgery.
The total mastectomy involves removing the whole breast that has cancer. Some lymph nodes under the arm can be removed by a separate incision. Modified radical mastectomy removes the whole breast with cancer, lymph nodes under the arm, lining of the chest muscles, and or part of the chest wall muscles. Radical mastectomy remove the breast, chest wall muscles under the breast, and all the lymph nodes under the arm.
After the surgery, some patients may be given radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells left behind. Radiation therapy involves using high energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wire which are directly placed into or near the cancer. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, the therapy may be slightly different.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the cancer cells from growing. It can be administered by mouth or injected into the vein. The drugs travels through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells. Again, depending on the cancer stage and type, chemotherapy may be treated differently for each person.
Hormone therapy removes hormones or block their action and stops cancer cells. Tamoxifen is often given at early stages of breast cancer and those with metastatic breast cancer. Hormone therapy with tamoxifen or estrogen can act on cells all over the body and may increase the chance of developing endometrial cancer. Depending on whether the patient is post menopausal and hormone-dependent breast cancer, therapy can change accordingly.
Targeted therapy uses drugs or other source to kill cancer cells without harming the normal cells. Monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors are two types of therapies being studied to treat breast cancer.
Alternative, holistic, and natural treatments involve using only natural resources to heal the body. Breast cancer patients who have tried the conventional treatments and have been unsuccessful turn to alternative treatments. There are many successful stories of breast cancer survivors who have passed their remission stage and lead a normal healthy live.
Treating the body, mind, and soul are known to heal the body, naturally. We know that stress causes chemical imbalance in our bodies, sometimes lowering our immune system. Cancer patience, including breast cancer have lower immune system than healthy people. That’s why doctors warn patients under going chemotherapy to avoid crowds to prevent getting pneumonia.
Eating whole organic vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, herbs, and tea are part of the treatment to getting better. There are also retreats that help breast cancer patients to relieve anxiety syndromes, stress, anger, and pain. Looking at the whole rather than parts of the body in terms of treating the disease holistically cures patients.