Recurrent breast tumor diagnosis: The remnants of cancer cells
Recurrent breast tumor diagnosis is essential in addressing the underlying problem. Therefore from the mammogram, physical exam or just by way of signs and symptoms and investigations findings, if the doctor suspects that you may having some traces of recurrent breast he or she may recommend further additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the tests and procedures may include:
Imaging tests. The kind of imaging test the patient will undergo will depend on the individual situation. Nonetheless, the Imaging tests may include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scan, X-ray, bone scan or positron emission tomography (PET) scan. It must however be noted that not every patient needs every test. The doctor will determine which tests are most helpful in your particular situation.
Removing a sample of tissue for lab testing (biopsy). The doctor may recommend a biopsy procedure to collect suspicious cells for testing. Working in a laboratory, a pathologist examines the cells and determines the types of cells involved. A pathologist will then determine if the cancer is a recurrence of cancer or a new type of cancer. Tests also show whether the cancer is sensitive to hormone treatment or targeted therapy.
Recurrent breast tumor diagnosis: Treatment
Every patient has their unique treatment plan and this will depend on a number of factors. Like for instance, the extent of the disease, its hormone receptor status, the type of treatment you received for your first breast cancer and your overall health. Besides these, the doctor will also considers the patients goals and preferences for treatment.
Recurrent breast tumor diagnosis: Treating a local recurrence
Treatment for a local recurrence typically starts with an operation and may include radiation if the patient haven’t had it before. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy may also be recommended as well.
Surgery. When the recurrent breast cancer is confined to the breast, treatment will involves removing any remaining breast tissue. However, if the first cancer was treated with lumpectomy, the doctor may recommend a mastectomy to remove the remaining breast tissue like lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, skin and nipple.
If your first breast cancer was treated with mastectomy and the cancer comes back in the chest wall, you may have surgery to remove the new cancer along with a margin of normal tissue. A local recurrence may be accompanied by hidden cancer in nearby lymph nodes. Therefore, the surgeon may remove some or all of the nearby lymph nodes if they weren’t removed during your initial treatment.
Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. If you didn’t have radiation therapy for your first breast cancer, your doctor may recommend it now. But if you had radiation after a lumpectomy, radiation to treat the recurrence isn’t usually recommended because of the risk of side effects.
Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy after surgery to reduce your risk of another cancer recurrence.
Hormone therapy. Medications that block the growth-promoting effects of the hormones estrogen and progesterone may be recommended if your cancer is hormone receptor positive.