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Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - 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)

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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 operable stage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:

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

Adjuvant therapy (treatment given after surgery to lower the risk that cancer will come back) may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy to the lymph nodes near the breast and to the chest wall after a modified radical mastectomy.
  • Chemotherapy with or without hormone therapy.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy with trastuzumab combined with chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of new targeted therapies.

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.

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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.
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