Advanced breast cancer can be frightening idea for many women, and for women who have it, a horrifying reality. Advanced breast cancer also known as Stage IV breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer is the highest stage of cancer with no possible cure as of yet. For the treatment of advanced breast cancer, the goal is to prolong life for as long as possible. While some choose to refuse treatment, others feel that they owe it to themselves or their families to keep fighting for as long as possible. If you have advanced breast cancer or are concerned about it, here are some of the treatment options you should be aware of. Taking into consideration your options and talking to your doctor about them, can help you on the path to fighting advanced breast cancer. With that said, here are three of the best advanced breast cancer treatments.
Radiation therapy is one of the most common ways to fight breast cancer, and can prove effective in fighting advanced breast cancer as well. Radiation therapy involves the use of a targeted beam of high-energy radiation directed at the cancer itself. This radiation can shrink the tumor and stop cancer cells from reproducing or growing. It can also be used to treat pain or bleeding caused by the cancer itself. Unfortunately, if you've had radiation therapy before, you cannot get it again on the same breast. And because the cancer has advanced to the late stage, radiation therapy cannot reverse cancer or kill enough cancer cells to save your life, but it can extend your life to a significant degree.
Chemotherapy is another common and effective way to treat cancer, but instead of radiation, chemotherapy uses drugs to control the growth of cancer. Under chemotherapy, doctors aim to control cancer for as long as possible, to extend the life of patients for as long as possible. Nevertheless, with this form of treatment comes plenty of side effects that may be too much for some to handle. Chemotherapy often causes side effects such as nausea, vomiting and even pain among many other symptoms, but these symptoms can reduce over time or stop. Still, for patients who do not have long, undergoing this treatment may not be ideal in terms of quality of life. Therefore, you'll need to outweigh the benefits and risks with your doctor before deciding.
Lastly, surgery is always an option for advanced breast cancer, depending on the individual circumstance. If a tumor has only spread a small amount in another part of the body, a doctor may elect to have the cancer removed from that part of the body. But it's important to remember that removing the tumor will not cure the cancer. Cancer cells can still grow and reproduce after surgery, leading to the same terminal outcome. However, you may be able to extend your life quite a bit. Surgery options include a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. Talk to your doctor about these and the other options mentioned above.