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Female Breast Cancer: Treatments

Cancer that forms in tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk).

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

Treatments for Female Breast Cancer

There are different types of treatment for patients with breast cancer.

Different types of treatment are available for patients with breast cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.

Six types of standard treatment are used:


Most patients with breast cancer have surgery to remove the cancer from the breast. Some of the lymph nodes under the arm are usually taken out and looked at under a microscope to see if they contain cancer cells... Read more about Female Breast Cancer: Treatments

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer in Adults and Children [Internet]

The guideline is divided into sections which cover in detail specific topics relating to twelve groups of cancers: lung, upper gastrointestinal cancers, lower gastrointestinal cancers, breast cancer, gynaecological cancers, urological cancers, haematological cancers, skin cancers, head and neck including oral cancers, brain/central nervous system cancers, bone and sarcoma, and children’s and young people’s cancers.

Venous Thromboembolism: Reducing the Risk of Venous Thromboembolism (Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism) in Patients Admitted to Hospital

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a term used to include the formation of a blood clot (a thrombus) in a vein which may dislodge from its site of origin to travel in the blood, a phenomenon called embolism. A thrombus most commonly occurs in the deep veins of the legs; this is called deep vein thrombosis. A dislodged thrombus that travels to the lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism.

Magnitude of late effects of breast cancer treatments on shoulder function: a systematic review

This review of the late effects of breast cancer treatment concluded that axillary lymph node dissection and radiotherapy resulted in shoulder impairments. These conclusions appear reliable, but a lack of information about the included studies limited their clinical interpretation.

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Summaries for consumers

Male Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of male breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy.

Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive breast cancer.

See all (32)

Terms to know

Glandular organ located on the chest. The breast is made up of connective tissue, fat, and breast tissue.
Clinical Trial
A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. Also called clinical study.
In medicine, a tube or vessel of the body through which fluids pass.
A small lobe or a subdivision of a lobe.
Lymph Nodes
A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called lymph gland.
In anatomy, the small raised area in the center of the breast.

More about Female Breast Cancer: Treatments

Photo of an adult woman

Also called: Malignant neoplasm of the female breast

Other terms to know: See all 6
Breast, Clinical Trial, Duct

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