Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment

Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment

Stage 1 breast cancer treatment options are for stage 1 breast cancer, which is defined as being small in size (tumor/cancerous tissue of approximately 20 millimeters or less) and isolated within the breast.

 

Typical Stage 1 breast cancer treatment options may include one or more of the following treatment options:

Surgery for Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment
Surgery is usually performed for all stages of breast cancer in order for the tumor to be removed as well as to check the surrounding lymph nodes to see if the breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
One of two types of surgery may be performed during Stage 1 breast cancer:
Breast-sparing surgery
Also known as a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, breast-sparing surgery removes only the area of the breast that is affected with cancer.
Mastectomy
Also known as a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, a mastectomy removes an entire breast or both breasts. Reconstructive surgery may take place following a mastectomy.
Radiation Therapy Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment
Typically, radiation therapy is given after breast-sparing surgery (referred to as adjuvant therapy) in order to kill and destroy any remaining cancer cells left behind from the surgery. It is commonly given externally five days a week over the course of six weeks.
Hormone Therapy Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment
If the tumor is found to be hormone receptor-positive, hormone therapies such as tamoxifen (Nolvadex) or aromatase inhibitors (exemestane/Aromasin, anastrozole/Arimidex, or letrozole/Femara) may be recommended.
Used for more than 30 years to treat breast cancer, tamoxifen is given as a pill and works by blocking the activity of estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors are typically given to women who have already gone through menopause, and work by preventing the body from making estradiol, a form of estrogen.
Chemotherapy Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment
The use of chemotherapy following surgery (adjuvant therapy) is usually not given for the Stage 1 breast cancer treatment if the tumor is less than one centimeter in size. However, if the tumor is estrogen receptor-negative, larger than one centimeter or HER-2-positive, chemotherapy may be given to help reduce the chances of the cancer spreading.
There are many different types of chemotherapy agents and combinations of chemotherapy agents that are used to treat breast cancer. Some of the commonly used combinations include and are referred to as:
AC
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and Cyclophosphamide
A - CMF
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) followed by CMF: cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), and 5-fluorouracil (Fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil)
AC - T
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel (Taxol) or docetaxel (Taxotere). During this regimen, the targeted monoclonal antibody therapy trastuzumab (Herceptin) may be given if the tumor is HER2-positive tumor.
CAF (FAC)
Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), and 5-fluorouracil (Fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil)
CEF (FEC)
Cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and 5-fluorouracil (Fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil). This regimen also may be followed by Docetaxel (Taxotere).
CMF
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), and 5-fluorouracil (Fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil)
EC
Epirubicin (Ellence) and cyclophosphamide
TAC
Docetaxel (Taxotere), doxorubicin (Adriamycin), and cyclophosphamide
TC
Docetaxel (Taxotere) and cyclophosphamide
TCH
Docetaxel (Taxotere), carboplatin, and trastuzumab (Herceptin) for HER2-positive tumors
Besides these commonly used chemotherapy regimens, other chemotherapy drugs also are used to treat breast cancer. These include: albumin-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane), capecitabine (Xeloda), cisplatin (Platinol), gemcitibine (Gemzar), ixabepilone (Ixempra), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) and vinorelbine (Navelbine).
Targeted Therapy Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment
If the Stage 1 tumor is larger than one centimeter and is found to be HER2-positive, which means that it is a more aggressive form of breast cancer, the use of the targeted monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin) will likely be given in combination with the specific chemotherapy regimens listed above.

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