How is breast cancer treated?

how is breast cancer treatedBreast cancer is treated with many different types of medications and procedures depending on your unique needs. When deciding on a breast cancer treatment plan for you, your doctor will consider the stage and grade of your cancer and your individual treatment goals. Some of the most common breast cancer treatment options include:


Some type of surgery is recommended for most breast cancer patients. Surgeries may be categorized as breast-conserving, in which only the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue are removed, or a mastectomy, in which all of the breast tissue is removed.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is often given after breast-conserving surgery to decrease the possibility that the cancer returns. Radiation therapy may be given externally through a highly-targeted beam controlled by an advanced machine, or it may be given internally, in which radioactive particles are placed into a device in the breast tissue.


Chemotherapy may be given orally or through an IV. It travels through the bloodstream to damage and destroy cancer cells in most parts of the body. Chemotherapy may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery, or it may be given after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may have been left behind. Chemotherapy may also be recommended for breast cancer that has spread outside the breast.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy medications can be used for breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive. The most common hormone therapy medications work by either blocking estrogen receptors in the breast, or stopping the production of estrogen in the body. The type of medication given is often dependent on whether or not the patient has gone through menopause.

The Importance of Breast Screening

While there is nothing that can be done to prevent breast cancer with certainty, regular breast screening through self-exams and mammography can help to catch cancer in its earliest and most treatable stage. While breast cancer treatments available for all types and stages of cancer, treatment is most effective the earlier cancer is detected. Be sure to have your annual breast screening as instructed by your doctor. At The Breast Center of Maple Grove, we make it easy to fit a mammogram into your busy schedule—same-day appointments are available and walk-ins are always welcome.