lunes, 18 de junio de 2012


There are several types of treatment that can be used in breast cancer. The therapy that is applied depends on many factors, including the stadium or step in to find the tumor, if there is or not metastases, the size of the cancer and also how are cancer cells. With the classification carried out by doctors lays down the size of the tumor, lymph nodes affected and the degree of metastasis or spread to other organs, if it is there. The most used is the TNM system, created by the American Joint Committee of cancer. Each letter refers to a feature that is defined with a number:

T (size), followed by a number from 0 to 4, refers to the size of the tumor, bigger is the cancer, the greater the number.
N (nodule), from 0 to 3, refers to the lymph nodes that are affected by the cancer cells.
M (metastasis) followed by a 0 or 1, indicates whether the cancer has spread (1) or not (0) to other organs.
In the early stages of cancer, surgery is used to remove the tumor, although often the surgical approach is complemented by radiotherapy to kill tumor cells that have managed to escape to the scalpel. If the cancer is disseminated in other parts of the body, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy is used. Here also include the administration of radiation therapy, in specific areas where they are located groups of cancerous cells.

Surgery. The type of surgery depends on the extent of the tumor. If the size of the tumor so permits, the surgeon may perform a Lumpectomy, which consists of the removal of part of the breast tissue. With the mastectomy, instead, the breast is removed altogether. Both interventions may require the eradication of the nearest lymph node (located in the armpit).
Radiation therapy. It is a local treatment, as well as surgery. In fact, sometimes is given radiotherapy after surgery, to eliminate cancer cells that have not been removed. Radiation therapy is an elevated concentration of x-ray addressed to a specific point. To apply this treatment after remove a cancer, doctors sure completely eradicate the tumor.
Chemotherapy. Along with hormone therapy, they are the most used in breast cancer treatments. Hormone treatments aim to stop the progression of cancer, by altering the levels of female hormones. On the other hand, chemotherapy eradicated the cancer cells, destroying them. These are the main families of employed chemotherapy against breast cancer:

-Alkylating: Act on DNA while avoiding the cancerous cell to reproduce. This family belongs busulfán, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, Dacarbazine, ifosfamide, mecloretamina and melphalan.

-Antimetabolites: they interfere with the growth of the DNA and cellular RNA. They are in this group: 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, cytarabine and Gemcitabine, Fludarabine.

-Antitumor antibiotics: Act on DNA by stopping the action of certain enzymes that cause of mitosis (Division by which cells are reproduced). Some of them are the bleomycin, dactinomycin, daunorubicina, doxorubicin and idarubicin.

-Mitosis inhibitors – are naturally occurring substances that are holding back the mitosis (cell reproduction formula). These inhibitors include paclitaxel, docetaxel, etoposide, vinblastine, vincristine, and vinorelbine. Chemotherapy is usually given intravenously, although sometimes chemotherapy can give oral or even intramuscular. Normally it is one to four weeks between a service and another of chemo. These cycles or courses set up by the oncologist according to the degree of disease and the side effects of chemotherapy tolerance.
Hormonal therapy:

Tamoxifen: it is the hormone therapy used most frequently in breast cancer. This drug prevents the release of estrogen, so that the cells affected by cancer continue not stretching.

Toremifeno: like tamoxifen, is a modulator of the receptor estrógenico and seems to have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of certain types of breast cancer.

Progestogen: these hormones produced naturally in the body of women, but their artificial derivatives may be useful in certain breast tumors. Together with progestogens, other hormonal therapies include aromatase, the análagos of the LHRH and somatostatin, the latter often used among the patients postmenospáusicas.

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