Breast Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases among women. There are treatment options with a high and proven rate of success that can be considered. The type of treatment prescribed -local therapy or systemic therapy, including Trastuzumab injections will depend on many factors as summarized below.
How different therapies are chosen?
A multidisciplinary team comprising specialists in surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology evaluate the cases and decide on the best course of treatment. Various parameters that are reviewed are:
- The age of the patient, health of the patient and her preferences
- Status of menopause of patient
- Observance of mutation in cancer genes that are inherited
- Genomic markers
- The subtype of the tumor, including the status of hormone receptors and HER2 status
- The stage of the tumor
Tumors behave differently. For instance, some tumors are small in size and grow rapidly, whereas others are large but grow at a slow pace. The treatment that is chosen will take into consideration all of the above factors.
What are the different types of therapy?
Therapies are sometimes combined to give the best shot at the treatment. There are basically two types of therapy – local and systemic.
In local, the tumor is treated without affecting the rest of the body. Surgery and Radiation are the two types of local therapy. This type of treatment is generally chosen in the early stages of cancer, but is not the rule and is also sometimes used in advanced stages.
In the systemic approach, the treatment is given orally or intravenously to get to the cancer cells in any part of the body. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy are the three types of systemic therapy.
Trastuzumab is effectively used to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list that comprises drugs that are required to be stocked in a health system. It has been proven in studies that this drug has helped in the effective treatment of metastatic HER-2 cancers in late stage and has increased the chances of survival. It has also been proven to reduce the chances of a relapse after surgery performed in the early stages. It induces regression in cancer, thereby offering better survival and longevity.
Hormone therapy and targeted therapy
Hormone therapy is generally advised after a surgery to prevent relapse. But it has also been successfully used prior to surgery. It can also be used after a relapse or if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This form of treatment which is taken orally shrinks the tumor rapidly.
Targeted therapy is a new regimen to treat tumors by accurately identifying and combating the cancer cells without harming the healthy cells. This form of treatment is increasingly being used in tandem with other forms of treatment.
The advances in medical science have paved the way for better treatment options that are effective and increase survival rates and longevity.