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Checking for Breast Cancer Recurrence

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How Will My Prognosis Affect My Breast Cancer Treatment?

The type of treatment you get for local breast cancer recurrences depends on the type of treatment you got at first. If you had a lumpectomy, local recurrence is usually treated with a mastectomy. If you had a mastectomy, recurrence near the mastectomy site is treated by removing the tumor if possible, usually followed by radiation.

In either case, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation may be used after surgery. Sometimes a combination is used.

If breast cancer is found in the other breast, it may be a new tumor unrelated to the first breast cancer. This would be treated like a new case of breast cancer. You would get either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, followed by more treatments if necessary.

If the cancer comes back in another part of the body, such as the bones, lungs, liver, or brain, you may get surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination. It depends on your individual case.

How Would a Recurrence of Breast Cancer Be Treated?

The type of treatment for local breast cancer recurrences depends on your initial treatment. If you had a lumpectomy, local recurrence is usually treated with mastectomy. If the initial treatment was mastectomy, recurrence near the mastectomy site is treated by removing the tumor whenever possible, usually followed by radiation therapy.

In either case, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy may be used after surgery. If breast cancer is found in the other breast, it may be a new tumor unrelated to the first breast cancer. Treatment would include a lumpectomy or mastectomy and possibly radiation and/or systemic therapy (chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy).

Women with distant recurrence involving organs such as the bones, lungs, brain, or other organs are treated with systemic therapy. Radiation therapy or surgery may also be recommended to relieve certain symptoms.

Immunotherapy with Herceptin (trastuzumab) alone or with chemotherapy may be recommended for women whose cancer cells have high levels of the HER2 protein. Perjeta (pertuzumab), Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), or Tykerb (lapatinib) may be used, as well.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Angela Jain on April 07, 2014
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