Breast development in girls happen in their teenage years, depending on the female hormones, like estrogen and progesterone and may make breasts tender. It can be felt as a thickening, and even some lumps and bumps develop in breasts during menses. The most common lumps in teenage are fibroadenomas and cysts.

 

It’s almost unheard of for girls ages 14 and younger to develop breast cancer. The chances increase slightly as girls move through their teenage years, but it’s still very rare, with an estimated 1 teen in 1 million developing breast cancer.

TREATMENT FOR EARLY BREAST CANCER

Early breast cancer is invasive cancer in the breast (< 5 cm ) and may or may not have spread to lymph nodes in the breast or armpit.

The aim of treatment for early breast cancer is to remove the breast cancer, still aiming to preserve the breast (conservative breast surgery)

Treatment for early breast cancer may involve:

  • Breast Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Hormone Therapy

BREAST SURGERY:

Breast surgery can be breast conservation or mastectomy (removal of the entire breast ) followed by reconstruction.Breast conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy is as effective as mastectomy for most women with early breast cancer. 

Surgery also involves the removal of lymph nodes in the axilla. The recent advancement is to do a sentinel lymph node biopsy of the axillary nodes and do a complete axillary dissection only if the node is positive. This avoids unnecessary complications of axillary dissection.

CHEMOTHERAPY: 

For women with early breast cancer, treatment with chemotherapy can lower the risk of breast cancer coming back or spreading to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy can also increase the chance of surviving breast cancer. Other treatment modalities are started only after chemotherapy.

RADIO THERAPY:

For women with early breast cancer, radiotherapy is almost always recommended after breast conserving surgery. Radiotherapy is sometimes recommended after mastectomy.

HORMONE THERAPY:

Hormone therapy drugs are used to treat women with early breast cancer who have hormone receptors on their breast cancer cells (Estrogen and progesterone receptor ). They may be used alone or with other breast cancer treatments.

The decision to recommend treatment with a hormonal therapy depends on:

  • whether there are hormone receptors on the breast cancer cells
  • whether the woman has reached menopause

Hormonal therapies reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back (in the breasts and in other parts of the body). Some hormonal therapies have also been shown to increase the chance of survival for women with breast cancer.

TARGETTED THERAPY

Also called biological therapies, drugs that stop the growth of particular types of cancer cells are used in this therapy. The most common targeted therapy used to treat early breast cancer is trastuzumab (Herceptin®- against HER 2 receptors )

 

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