Top Treatments For Breast Cancer
The diagnosis of breast cancer is frightening. Every year, around 70,000 women contract breast cancer. But the disease can be treated better and better: “Breast cancer is not an emergency! The cure rate today is 80 percent,” says Prof. Dr. med. Nadia Harbeck, Head of the Breast Center of the University of Munich. The expert talks about how to handle the diagnosis and explains how new therapies help.
Breast cancer is not an emergency
More and more women are feeling their breasts themselves. And that’s good. Because palpation, changes in the breast can be detected early and treated.
earlier the cancer is discovered
Most women feel their hardening themselves – how the right palpation goes, shows the gynecologist. “The important thing is not to sit out, but to go to the doctor right away, because the earlier the cancer is discovered, the better the chances of recovery,” says Prof. Dr. med. Harbeck. As a rule, the doctor first transfers the patient to an X-ray practice to have a punch biopsy done. With local anesthesia, a fine needle is inserted under the ultrasound view into the breast.
properties of the tumor
The punching report gives initial indications of the properties of the tumor. For a more detailed diagnosis and therapy, the expert recommends visiting a certified breast center : “The best one, in which all specialist medical directions are represented and whose quality is checked, where the patient also has the opportunity to participate in therapy studies.” Depending on the result, then follow individual medical measures.
NEW MULTI-GENE TEST CAN PREVENT CHEMO
In the laboratory, surgically removed tissue is examined for its genetic properties: how aggressive is the tumor? The results decide on the use of a chemo. “We assume that 20 to 30 percent of the women who used to receive chemotherapy can save them today,” says the doctor. The test is suitable if up to three lymph nodes are affected and if the tumor is hormone-sensitive and HER2-negative. “That’s the case with most patients.” The costs for the multi-genetic test (about 2,000 to 3,000 euros) are not yet paid by all funds. “The patient should always check with her health insurance,” advises the expert.
USE OF CHEMOTHERAPY
For example, it is required before surgery. “That way the breast can be preserved.” Another possibility: first surgery and then clarified whether a chemo is mandatory. “There are also tumors that do not respond to either anti-hormone or antibody therapy, in which case chemo is always necessary.” Thanks to modern medication, the side effects of radiation treatment are more bearable today. “Women can go about their everyday lives and chemo is an outpatient therapy,” says Prof. Harbeck.
This is a new kind of drug treatment for breast cancer. In the process, antibodies or tablets are administered to prevent the cancer cells from continuing to grow. Many of these drugs are still in clinical trials. “We are making great progress, the reflex, there is a knot in the chest, it has to go right out” is wrong today! For each patient, a therapy concept tailored to her tumor will be created. “