October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer can affect women and men, although there is a higher rate among women. Breast cancer is more treatable when detected early so it is important to do monthly breast exams, checking from collar-bone, to breast, and extending it into the arm pit to breastbone. If there is a history of breast cancer in your family please speak to your health care provider about scheduling a Mammogram. It is recommended that you get a Mammogram every year beginning at age 40, especially if it runs in your family.
Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread within the body. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biologic therapy, or radiation. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.
•Surgery: An operation where doctors surgically removes cancer tissue.
•Chemotherapy: Uses special medicines and/or drugs to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given directly into your veins, or may be a combination.
•Hormonal therapy: Some cancers need certain hormones to grow. Hormonal treatment is used to block cancer cells from getting the hormones needed to grow.
•Biological therapy: This treatment works with your body’s immune system to help fight cancer or to control side effects from other cancer treatments. Side effects are how your body reacts to drugs or other treatments. Biological therapy is different from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy attacks cancer cells directly.
•Radiation: The use of high-energy rays are used to kill the cancer cells. The rays are aimed at the part of the body where the cancer is found.
Health care providers from different specialty areas may work in conjunction to treat someone with breast cancer. Surgeons perform operations. Medical oncologists treat cancers with medicines. Radiation oncologists treat cancers with radiation.
Alternative Therapy Modalities for Treatment of Breast Cancer
Mind-Body Methods: Healing methods based on the belief that the mind affects the body’s response to cancer. These methods have been known to help reduce the side effects felt during cancer treatment. Tapping into the mind-body connection is reported as improving a person’s overall wellness which includes the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual states. The mind can work for or against you, depending on your focus.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture a traditional Chinese medicine approach and healing systems, are used for cancer treatment.
Nutritional Methods: Special diets and/or supplements may be used in the treatment of people with cancer. Cancer patients are sometimes prescribed Coenzyme Q10 and other Antioxidants.
Pharmacologic and Biologic Treatments
The use of clinical trials, experimental prescription drugs, vaccines, hormones, natural products (also called botanicals), and other biologic treatments are used in the treatment of people with cancer. Herbal extracts and other herbs are sometimes introduced into a treatment regimen.
WEAR SOMETHING PINK THIS MONTH AND/OR SUPPORT THE CAUSE AND FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER.
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Article by: Ketsia Glemaud, Edited by: Lilly Shmulevich
Photo by: TipTimes Courtesy of: Flickr Creative Commons