A successful treatment is the first step towards a healthier future. Your post-surgery plan will include a routine of doctor’s appointments, mammograms and self examination. The areas of the breast that you should pay more attention to, are:
- Breasts and nipples
- The left and the right sides of your chest wall
- Chest muscles lining (following a mastectomy)
- Any area with cuts and scars
- Area over and under your collar bone
Your treatment plan may include, except surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and/ or hormonal therapy.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically done using a large machine that aims the energy beams at your body (external beam radiation). Doctors may also recommend radiation therapy to the chest wall after a mastectomy for larger breast cancers or cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells. If your cancer has a high risk of returning or spreading to another part of your body, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy after surgery to decrease the chance that the cancer will recur.
- Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy — perhaps more properly termed hormone-blocking therapy — is often used to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones. Doctors sometimes refer to these cancers as estrogen receptor positive (ER positive) and progesterone receptor positive (PR positive) cancers. This therapy can last up to 5 years.
Early diagnosis of breast cancer impressively increases the therapy’s success. Women over 28-40 years of age must take a mammogram test, once a year.