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Breast Cancer Treatment (Patient) (cont.)

Treatment Options by Stage

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

Treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) may include the following:

  • Breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy with or without tamoxifen.
  • Total mastectomy with or without tamoxifen.
  • Breast-conserving surgery without radiation therapy.
  • Clinical trials testing breast-conserving surgery and tamoxifen with or without radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with ductal breast carcinoma in situ. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

Treatment of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) may include the following:

  • Biopsy to diagnose the LCIS followed by regular examinations and regular mammograms to find any changes as early as possible. This is called observation.
  • Tamoxifen to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. This treatment choice is sometimes used in women who have a high risk of getting breast cancer. Most surgeons believe that this is a more aggressive treatment than is needed.
  • Clinical trials testing cancer prevention drugs.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with lobular breast carcinoma in situ. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage I, Stage II, Stage IIIA, and Operable Stage IIIC Breast Cancer

Treatment of stage I, stage II, stage IIIA, and operablestage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:

  • Breast-conserving surgery to remove only the cancer and some surrounding breasttissue, followed by lymph node dissection and radiation therapy.
  • Modified radical mastectomy with or without breast reconstructionsurgery.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by surgery.

Adjuvant therapy (treatment given after surgery to increase the chances of a cure) may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy to the lymph nodes near the breast and to the chest wall after a modified radical mastectomy.
  • Systemic chemotherapy with or without hormone therapy.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • A clinical trial of trastuzumab (Herceptin) combined with systemic chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of bisphosphonates combined with chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I breast cancer, stage II breast cancer, stage IIIA breast cancer and stage IIIC breast cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IIIB, Inoperable Stage IIIC, Stage IV, and Metastatic Breast Cancer

Stage IIIB and inoperable stage IIIC breast cancer

Treatment of stage IIIB and inoperablestage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:

  • Systemic chemotherapy.
  • Systemic chemotherapy followed by surgery (breast-conserving surgery or total mastectomy), with lymph node dissection followed by radiation therapy. Additional systemic therapy (chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or both) may be given.
  • Clinical trials testing new anticancer drugs, new drug combinations, and new ways of giving treatment.

Stage IV and metastatic breast cancer

Treatment of stage IV or metastatic breast cancer may include the following:

  • Hormone therapy and/or systemic chemotherapy with or without trastuzumab (Herceptin).
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy with lapatinib combined with capecitabine.
  • Radiation therapy and/or surgery for relief of pain and other symptoms.
  • Bisphosphonatedrugs to reduce bone disease and pain when cancer has spread to the bone.
  • Clinical trials testing new systemic chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy.
  • Clinical trials of new combinations of trastuzumab (Herceptin) with anticancer drugs.
  • Clinical trials of new combinations of lapatinib with anticancer drugs.
  • Clinical trials testing other approaches, including high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage IIIB breast cancer, stage IIIC breast cancer and stage IV breast cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

eMedicineHealth Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Some material in CancerNet™ is from copyrighted publications of the respective copyright claimants. Users of CancerNet™ are referred to the publication data appearing in the bibliographic citations, as well as to the copyright notices appearing in the original publication, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference.






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