What is recurrent breast cancer?
Although the initial cancer treatment is aimed at eliminating all cancer cells, a few of them may still stay in the body, which likely cause breast cancer recurrence. Breast cancer can recur at any time but mostly occur in the first three to five years after initial treatment. Breast cancer can come back as a local recurrence or as a distant recurrence, including lymph nodes, the bones, liver or lungs.
How do I know if there is recurrent breast cancer?
If you have been treated for breast cancer, you should keep doing breast self-exam and check the treated area and your other breast each month. Also, taking mammogram regularly is also necessary. If you feel any changes, you should tell your doctor right away.
Breast changes that might be a recurrence include:
A change in the shape, size or contour of the breast
A marble-like area under the skin
Blood or clear fluid coming out of nipple
A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm
A change in the appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple, including skin that is dimpled, puckered, scaly, red, warm, or swollen
Treatment of recurrent breast cancer
It is likely that your treatment experience this time may be different from last time. However, keep in mind that recurrent breast cancer is not hopeless. Many women continue to live long, productive lives with recurrent breast cancer. Let us see what treatment options you have for recurrent breast cancer.
Interventional therapy is done under the guidance of medical imaging equipment wherein the anti-cancer drugs are injected directly to the blood supplying artery of the tumor which effectively shrinks the tumor. Compared with the traditional chemotherapy, interventional therapy targets the tumor precisely and brings lesser side effects to the body; the drug concentration of anti-cancer drug inside the tumor is much higher than the conventional chemotherapy because it is directly infused into the tumor and so it brings better efficacy.
Green chemotherapy is a new type of chemotherapy which is different from the intravenous chemotherapy. Intravenous chemotherapy can cause the side effects. While green chemotherapy, in accordance with human biological clock, anti-cancer drugs will be given when tumor cells are active and believed to be most susceptible while normal cells are inactive. In this way, minimal dose of medicine can achieve best effects with lowest side effects to the body.
Cryotherapy also called cryosurgery, Ar-he knife, is done by releasing Argon gas to lower the temperature and freeze the tumor and the surrounding tissue; then the He gas is released to thaw the frozen tumor thus destroying it in the process.
Microwave ablation (MWA)
In microwave ablation, a probe will be inserted into tumors, and micro electromagnetic waves will be released to destroy and ablate the cancerous tissues directly. Targeting clearly and affecting intensely the tumor, MWA won’t produce obvious side effects to normal tissues.
Targeted therapy is to use drugs or other substances to precisely identify and attack cancer cells, which bring little damage to normal cells. At Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou, we provide gene targeted therapy, which targets the root of disease by correcting the abnormal gene. Targeted therapy brings no trauma to the body and lesser side effect to the patients.
Hormone therapy is to stop estrogen from affecting breast cancer cells. Some types of breast cancer are affected by hormones in the blood so the hormone therapy is suitable to some of the breast cancer patients. You need to know the type of breast cancer so that doctor knows if the hormone therapy works for you.
Chinese medicine therapy
At Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou, doctor combines the Chinese medicine therapy with other treatments. Chinese medicine therapy effectively helps you prevent or alleviate the side effects, which may be caused by other treatments. Moreover, Chinese medicine therapy also helps you boost the immune system to prevent cancer recurrence.
When breast cancer comes back, one single treatment may not effectively control the condition because it likely becomes more complicated and severe. Doctors at Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou will give a comprehensive treatment plan for you the condition with the least side effects and utmost efficacy.
Different patients may have different treatment plans due to the difference in size of tumor, physical condition, willingness, etc. If you want to know what treatment options are suitable for you, you are welcome to consult with us via online consultation or call at 63-02-8221222/63-922-8083333/63-915-4642818. We are here 24/7 to answer your questions.
*Surgery, in addition to the appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are effective in treating early cancer, but certain patients in late stage of cancer may not be tolerate surgery well as they can be relatively weak. A combination of carefully planned minimally invasive therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy can effectively reduce the side effects and discomfort of treatment and may help patient get better efficacy.