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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) 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. Fulvestrant (Faslodex) is an injection that keeps estrogen from attaching to cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy  such as fam-trastuzumab-deruxtecan-nxki (Enhertu), lapatinib (Tykerb), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and trastuzumab (Herceptin) prompt the body’s immune system to help destroy cancer cells. These medicines target breast cancer cells that have high levels of a protein called HER2. T-DM1 or ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) is a medicine that combines Herceptin and the chemotherapy medicine emtansine to target HER2 positive cancer cells.Abemaciclib (Verzenio), palbociclib (Ibrance), and ribociclib (Kisqali) are often used with an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant (Faslodex), in women with certain types of  advanced cancer. Abemaciclib (Verzenio) can be used alone in women who have already been treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Alpelisib (Piqray) is a PI3K inhibitor that treats breast cancer in men and women who have a certain mutation resulting from treatment with hormonal therapy. Neratinib (Nerlynx) also works against HER2-positive breast cancer by blocking the cancer cells’from receiving growth signals.A new class of drugs called PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) inhibitors targets an enzyme that feeds cancer cells. PARP inhibitors include olaparib (Lynparza) and talazoparib (Talzenna) .
  • Immunotherapy  uses the body’s own immune system to target cancer. The drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq) has been approved as first line treament for those with triple negative breat cancer whoch has spread.

SOURCES:

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

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on January 24, 2020

SOURCES:

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

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on January 24, 2020

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