Treatments For Breast Cancer

Executive Summary

The different types of standard treatments for breast cancer are available. Standard treatments are used along with the integration of effective treatment planning. Clinical trials are used as an innovative treatment approach that combines different therapies and drugs for treating breast cancer. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy are the common type of treatment used for treating breast cancer.

Types of Treatments for Breast Cancer

These are some of the Treatments For Breast Cancer ​1​:


Surgery called mass breast removal removes only the cancerous part of the breast ​2​. It is sometimes called breast-conserving surgery. The doctor removes the entire breast in mastectomy. There are different types of mastectomy and breast mass removal.

Radiation therapy

Most women under the age of 70 who have undergone breast mass removal receive radiation. If the disease is widespread, your doctor may recommend this method. It helps destroy Breast cancer cells that the surgeon couldn’t get rid of ​3​.

Radiation can come from machines outside the body. There are tiny seeds that emit radiation to the chest where the tumor exists.


It uses drugs to kill Breast cancer cells. You take the drug as a tablet or intravenously. Most people get it after surgery and kill the cancer cells behind it. Doctors also prescribe it before surgery to shrink the tumor. Chemotherapy works well for cancer, but it can also damage healthy cells ​4​

Hormone therapy

It uses drugs to prevent hormones, especially estrogen that stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells ​5​. Drugs include tamoxifen (Nolvadex) for premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole (Arimidex), exemestane (Aromasin), and letrozole (Femara) for postmenopausal women.

Some breast cancer treatments work by preventing the ovaries from making hormones, either by surgery or dosing. Fulvestrant (Faslodex) is an injection that prevents estrogen from adhering to cancer cells.

Targeted therapies 

Targeted Therapies such as lapatinib (Tykerb), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and trastuzumab (Herceptin) induce the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells. These drugs target the breast cancer cells that becomes high in a protein called HER2 ​6​.

TDM1, or ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadosila), combines with Herceptin and the chemotherapeutic drug emtansine targets HER2-positive cancer cells. Abemaciclib (Verzenio), palbociclib (Ibrance), and ribociclib (Kisqali) are often used with aromatase inhibitors or fulvestrant (Faslodex) in women with certain advanced cancers. Abemaciclib (Verzenio) can be used alone in women who have already been treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

Alpericive (Piqray) is a PI3K inhibitor used to treat breast cancer in men and women who have undergone specific genetic alterations due to hormone therapy. Nerlynx also works against HER2-positive breast cancer by preventing cancer cells from receiving growth signals. A new class of drugs called PARP (Poly ADP Ribos Polymerase) inhibitors target enzymes that nourish cancer cells. PARP inhibitors include olaparib (Lynparza) and tarazoparib (talzenna).


  1. 1.
    Diamond J. Evolution: DNA map of human lineage. Nature. 1984;310(5978):544. doi:10.1038/310544a0
  2. 2.
    Matsen C, Neumayer L. Breast cancer: a review for the general surgeon. JAMA Surg. 2013;148(10):971-979. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.3393
  3. 3.
    Dhankhar R, Vyas S, Jain A, Arora S, Rath G, Goyal A. Advances in novel drug delivery strategies for breast cancer therapy. Artif Cells Blood Substit Immobil Biotechnol. 2010;38(5):230-249. doi:10.3109/10731199.2010.494578
  4. 4.
    Shao N, Wang S, Yao C, et al. Sequential versus concurrent anthracyclines and taxanes as adjuvant chemotherapy of early breast cancer: a meta-analysis of phase III randomized control trials. Breast. 2012;21(3):389-393. doi:10.1016/j.breast.2012.03.011
  5. 5.
    Drăgănescu M, Carmocan C. Hormone Therapy in Breast Cancer. Chirurgia (Bucur). 2017;112(4):413-417. doi:10.21614/chirurgia.112.4.413
  6. 6.
    Higgins M, Baselga J. Targeted therapies for breast cancer. J Clin Invest. 2011;121(10):3797-3803. doi:10.1172/JCI57152