Lianne Kraemer had been living with metastatic breast cancer for more than a year when I met her in December at the Henry B. Inside the main exhibition hall, it seemed that every major pharmaceutical company was putting on its best come-hither show. A pair of young, lithe dancers whipped flowing fabric through the air at a booth for the drug Faslodex, a new injectable from Astra-Zeneca used to treat women with estrogen-fueled advanced breast cancer.
Donate Shop. Treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer aims to remove the cancer and reduce the risk of the cancer spreading or coming back recurring. As there are different types of breast cancer, treatment varies from person to person.
NCBI Bookshelf. If breast cancer comes back, it is often more frightening than the first time it was diagnosed. But even if it does come back, there are still treatment options.
A breast cancer recurrence, or "recurrent breast cancer," is cancer that has come back in the same or opposite breast or chest wall after a period of time when the cancer couldn't be detected. During surgery to remove an original diagnosis of breast cancer lumpectomy or mastectomythe surgeon removes all the cancer that can be seen and felt. But tests for cancer aren't sensitive enough to detect tiny groups of cancer cells that may be left over after surgery. It is possible for isolated groups of cells to survive radiation therapy and chemotherapy intended to reduce the risk of recurrence.
You probably have a ton of questions about what comes next: Do you still have to see your doctor as often? Will you have to undergo more tests? How do you prevent recurrence?
Many women are relieved or excited to be finished with breast cancer treatment. But it can also be a time of worry, being concerned about the cancer coming back, or feeling lost without seeing their cancer care team as often. For some women with advanced breast cancer, the cancer may never go away completely.
After a positive biopsy the vast majority of women need surgery to completely remove the cancer. You'll usually be referred to a cancer surgeon—also known as a surgical oncologist. Often times the radiologist or your primary care physician will suggest a surgeon you should see.
After you have been treated for breast cancer, your breast care team will continue to support you, helping you deal with the effects of your treatment and making sure that your breast cancer has not come back. You will normally have regular follow up appointments once you have finished treatment. A member of your breast care team will check for signs that your breast cancer has come back and discuss whether you are experiencing any side effects from your treatment. They can arrange access to support services if you need them, including psychological support.
Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female, obesitylack of physical exercise, drinking alcoholhormone replacement therapy during menopauseionizing radiationearly age at first menstruationhaving children late or not at all, older age, prior history of breast cancer, and family history. The balance of benefits versus harms of breast cancer screening is controversial. A Cochrane review stated that it is unclear if mammographic screening does more good or harm.