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Details

Cancer means the presence of abnormal cells that multiply in an uncontrolled manner. In the case of breast cancer, cells can stay in the breast or spread around the body through blood or lymphatic vessels. Most of the time, progression to breast cancer takes months or even years.

Women with breast cancer benefit from treatments chosen according to the type of cancer and its stage of development. There are mainly four techniques are used for breast cancer treatment:  surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapies (using drugs to block the growth of cancer cells). Among all, surgery is an integral part of the treatment of the majority of breast cancers.


Who Is This For?

Women with breast cancer

Treatment Duration

Typically, if you have early-stage breast cancer, you will have chemotherapy for three to six months, but your doctor will adjust it to your time. In advanced stages, treatment may take more than six months. If the treatment includes surgery; mastectomy can take 2 to 3 hours. If the restructuring is done in the same session, the surgery will take longer. Lumpectomy surgery takes about 15 to 40 minutes.


Potential Risks & Side Effects

  •  Risks related to anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  •  Infection
  •  Pain
  • Swelling in the arm
  • Hard scar tissue formation in the surgical area
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Numbness under the arm.
  • Blood accumulation at the surgery site (hematoma)

 

Chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Hair loss
  •  Increased risk of developing infection
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
  • Intestinal problems such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Changes in skin and nails 

Recovery Time

The recovery period after surgery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks, but whether this time will be longer or not depends on the results and the need for other treatments.

Success Rate: 90 %

Alternative Treatments

  • Complementary and Holistic Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy

It is important to understand that although there are some holistic, complementary and alternative treatment approaches that help medical breast cancer treatment, alternative treatments are not scientifically proven and there is no reliable evidence that they are effective in treating breast cancer.

How Does it Work?

There are many options for breast cancer treatment, and the treatment plans are personalized typically depending on the evolution of the tumor, its characteristics, the patient's age and health status. The first stage in the treatment of breast cancer is biopsy. The biopsy involves taking a sample of the tumor for examination. The tests performed mainly for deciding the treatment. First doctors need to know if the tumor is cancerous and then if it is, know the type of cancer. Tests on the tumor sample also tell the doctor what stage the cancer is in and whether its growth can be stimulated by sex hormones (in other words, if the tumor is "hormone-dependent").

 

What Does a Breast Cancer Treatment Involve?

1.       Consultation for Breast Cancer Treatment

At this stage, our experts will ask you questions through online consultation to learn about your story and all the health-related data you have. Whichever treatment you are eligible for will be clearly determined in a one-to-one consultation, this stage is for you to present your biopsy or imaging results and have a road map based on this data, your health history and your current situation. After this stage, according to the treatment planning determined, it is passed to the evaluation and planning stage where you can choose a clinic or doctor / surgeon.

2.       Planning Your Trip and Choosing the Clinic

This is the stage where you choose one of the clinics and doctors we offer you according to your treatment plan and expectations, and also where we arrange the dates and trip plan that suits you.

3.       Final Consultation with Your Surgeon

When your face-to-face consultation appointment arrives, your detailed discussion starts with your doctor. Your doctor, who has prior knowledge about you in this meeting, will tell you in detail about the treatment option he deems necessary, and shares the preparation, process and follow-up stages with you. This stage is the stage where you get all the information you need to make you feel comfortable and ready, where you learn your treatment plan clearly and it is aimed to complete the process in the most painless and easy way under the guidance of an experienced team. 

4.       Medical Examinations

Your doctor will ask you for some tests to decide on treatment. Depending on the tumor development and your current situation, this may be a surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy) or chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy. Your treatment plan may include one or more of these choices.


Treatment Options:

1.       Surgery

In breast cancer treatment, surgery options are divided into two: lumpectomy and mastectomy. The size of the tumor and its spreading behavior are taken into account when deciding which surgery to perform. The breast will most often be preserved if the tumor is less than 3 centimeters. This is called lumpectomy. On the other hand when its volume exceeds 3 centimeters, or when there are several tumors, and in certain cases of particular cancers, it will be necessary to resolve to remove the breast. This is called mastectomy. It happens that breast cancer larger than 3 cm is offered treatment before the intervention (chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy). These treatments called neoadjuvant make it possible to reduce the volume of the tumor and to operate on the patient in a second step while keeping her breast.

2.       Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy

Radiation therapy is almost always practiced when conservative surgical treatment has been performed. But, it is also possible in case of mastectomy. This treatment reduces the risk of relapse. Depending on the case, radiotherapy may be centered, in addition to the breast, on the lymph nodes in the armpit or near the collarbone or sternum.

However, chemotherapy is not systematic. We can do without it when the tumor is less than a centimeter, the lymph nodes of the armpit are not affected and the cancer is not too aggressive. Age, the woman's opinion and her medical history also affect the doctor's decision whether or not to recommend protective chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy is offered to all women under the age of 50, in whom the armpit nodes are invaded by the tumor process or in whom risk factors are present. As a general rule, adjuvant chemotherapy (i.e. after surgery) will be started three to four weeks after the operation. Chemotherapy will be preceded by the placement of a catheter under anesthesia to avoid pricking the veins too often. 

3.       Hormone Therapy

Like chemotherapy, hormone therapy aims to prevent the onset of metastases and is also usually administered after surgery. It is an extremely effective protective treatment, but it can only be proposed in breast cancers whose development is favored by female hormones and which have receptors for estrogens (approximately two-thirds of breast cancers). An analysis will indicate whether or not cancer has such receptors and whether hormone therapy may or may not be of interest. In at-risk postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive cancer, hormone therapy is usually combined with chemotherapy. In postmenopausal women, hormone therapy will be given alone or in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy, depending on the level of risk.

Depending on whether the woman is menopausal or not, hormone therapy techniques may differ. Before menopause, you may be called upon to suppress the functioning of the ovaries by removing them or giving drugs that temporarily block their activity. After menopause, anti-aromatases can now be administered which inhibits the production of estrogens.


Breast Reconstruction After Breast Cancer Surgery

Generally, several months after the initial operation (mastectomy) is respected before proceeding with a reconstruction breast surgery. It is however possible to reconstruct the breast at the same time as the mastectomy. Most often, the breast is reconstructed after the end of chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments. In some cases, the choice of the subsequent reconstruction technique is made before the mastectomy, which allows the surgeon to adapt the course of his incisions during the procedure.

Remember that breast self-monitoring should be continued, even in the event of breast reconstruction, as the recurrence of breast cancer is not impossible. Ask your doctor what type of monitoring is indicated depending on the reconstruction performed.


FAQ

Does Breast Cancer Always Recur?

Breast cancer can recur at any time or never. Most recurrences occur within the first 5 years after breast cancer treatment. After the treatment is completed, you should continue to perform a breast self-examination and check your treated area and other breasts once a month. You should notify your doctor when you observe any changes.

What Is The Importance Of Regular Mammograms For Diagnosing Breast Cancer?

Like many cancers, breast cancer grows through simple cell division. Cancer formation begins as a malignant cell, and then this single cell divides into two cells, and so on. Until the 28th cell division, it cannot be detected manually. For most breast cancers, the time between each cell division is one to two months. So when you can feel a cancerous lump, the cancer has been in your body for two to five years. While this may seem frightening and alarming, it is also a fact that emphasizes the importance of regular mammograms. These screening tests can usually detect breast cancer when it is about a quarter or smaller, which is one year or more before it can be detected manually.

Is A Mastectomy Painful?

Postoperative pain may not be seen, but some patients may also experience it. Ways of dealing with this pain are described in detail by the surgeon and it will subside within a few weeks.

Costs

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