Online Information about Cancer

Resources about cancer

Breast Cancer Treatment - Breast Cancer Information and Support
Breast cancer information: Pictures and Diagrams, Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms, ... In breast cancer treatment? Want to meet our medical experts ...

Spirituality and Cancer
Scientific Information about religion, spiritual needs and cancer.

National Cancer Institute - Breast Cancer Treatment
Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of breast cancer.

NCCN Patient Guidelines
Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines for Patients – Version VI, September 2004. Click here to begin, American Cancer Society ...

Imaginis - Breast Cancer Treatment
... for breast cancer, discusses how to cope with the side effects of treatment, ... important aspects to consider before and after breast cancer treatment. ...

BreastCancertreatmentsbreastexams and tamoxifen...
Breast cancer, a common cancer in women, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the breast. Each breast has 15- 20 ... "The risk of breast cancer rises with age, family history of breast cancer, early menarche or late menopause, age which the first child is born, not having children at all, obesity oral contraceptives and possibly hormone replacement therapy. High fat diets may also increase the risks of getting breast cancer. Moderate drinking of alcohol has been linked to breast cancer in several studies"...

BreastCancerInformation and Resources | Oncolink
Breast Cancer information including risk, prevention, screening, symptoms, ... Make Cancer Treatment Decisions, Make Treatment Decisions with Cancer ... "Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control and can then invade nearby tissues or spread throughout the body. Large collections of this out of control tissue are called tumors. However, some tumors are not really cancer because they cannot spread or threaten someone's life. These are called benign tumors"...

CancerTreatmentCenters of America: BreastCancerInformation and ...
Cancer hospital for patients who believe in conventional breast cancer treatments along with alternative care and medicine. We believe in empowering the ...

The mainstay of breast cancer treatment is surgery, with possible adjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Depending on the staging and type of the tumour, just a lumpectomy (removal of the lump only) may be all that is necessary or removal of larger amounts of breast tissue may be necessary. Surgical removal of the entire breast is called mastectomy.

Standard practice requires that the surgeon must establish that the tissue removed in the operation has margins clear of cancer, indicating that the cancer has been completely excised. If the tissue removed does not have clear margins, then further operations to remove more tissue may be necessary. This may sometimes require removal of part of the pectoralis major muscle which is the main muscle of the anterior chest wall.

During the operation, the lymph nodes in the axilla are also considered for removal. In the past, large axillary operations took out 10-40 nodes to establish whether cancer had spread - this had the unfortunate side effect of frequently causing lymphedema of the arm on the same side as the removal of this many lymph nodes affected lymphatic drainage. More recently the technique of sentinel lymph node dissection has become popular as it requires the removal of far fewer lymph nodes, resulting in fewer side effects.

At present, the treatment recommendations follow a pattern. This pattern may be adapted as every two years a worldwide conference takes place in St. Gallen, Switzerland to discuss the actual results of worldwide multi-center studies. Depending an clinical criteria (age, type of cancer, size, metastasis) patients are roughly divided to high risk and low risk cases which follow different rules for therapy. The following list is a compilation af possibilities:

1. after a breast preserving therapy (lumpectomy, quadrant-resection), the high local recurrence risk (~40%) is reduced by radiation therapy to the breast
2. if the lymph nodes are positive, the high mortality risk (30-80%) is reduced by systemic treatment (either anti-hormones or chemotherapy).
3. in young patients, the most useful systemic therapy is chemotherapy (usually regimens such as CMF, FAC, AC and/or taxol)
4. in older patients, the most useful systemic therapy is anti-hormone therapy (tamoxifen, GnRH-analogues)
5. chemotherapy has increasing side effects as the patient's age passes 65
6. in patients with estrogen receptor negative tumours, the most useful systemic therapy is chemotherapy
7. in patients with estrogen receptor positive tumours, the most useful systemic therapy is hormone therapy

For some early tumours, systemic treatments may not be recommended if the tumor is hormone receptor negative. Radiation therapy is recommended in all patients who had lumpectomy, however radiation therapy after mastectomy is recommended only if four or more lymph nodes are involved with cancer. Radiation therapy is usually not indicated in patients with advanced (stage IV disease) except for palliation of symptoms like bone pain.

The emotional impact of cancer diagnosis, symtoms, treatment, and related issues can be severe. Most larger hospitals are associated with cancer support groups which can help patients cope with the many issues that come up in a supportive environment with other people with experience with similar issues.

On-line cancer support groups are also very beneficial to cancer patients, especially in dealing with uncertainty and body-image problems inherent in cancer treatment.



Web Cancer Information