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What are other treatments for breast cancer, other than surgery or radiation therapy?

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Other treatments destroy or control cancer cells all over the body:

You might get chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy along with surgery or radiation. They can kill any cancer cells that were left behind by other treatments.

  • Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. As these powerful medicines fight the disease, they also can cause side effects, like nausea, hair loss, early menopause, hot flashes, and fatigue.
  • Hormone therapy uses drugs to prevent hormones, especially estrogen, from fueling the growth of breast cancer cells. Medicines include tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox) for women before and after menopause and aromatase inhibitors including anastrozole (Arimidex), exemestane (Aromasin), and letrozole (Femara) for postmenopausal women. Side effects can include hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Some types of this therapy work by stopping the ovaries from making hormones, either through surgery or medication.
  • Targeted therapy such as lapatinib (Tykerb), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and trastuzumab (Herceptin). These medicines prompt the body's immune system to destroy cancer. They target breast cancer cells that have high levels of a protein called HER2. Palbociclib (Ibrance) and ribociclib (Kisqali) work by blocking  a substance that promotes cancer growth. Along with letrozole, palbociclib, and ribpciclib are for postmenopausal women with certain types of advanced cancer. A new class of drugs called PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) inhibitors targets an enzyme that feeds cancer cells. PARP inhibitors include olaparib (Talzenna) and talazoparib ( ). Talzenna

From: Breast Cancer Treatment WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: "Breast Cancer Treatment."
Novartis Oncology. Pfizer Oncology.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on March 25, 2019

SOURCES:

CDC: "Breast Cancer Treatment."
Novartis Oncology. Pfizer Oncology.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on March 25, 2019

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