Ductal breast cancer is medically known as ductal carcinoma for the reason that it starts in milk ducts. Ductal breast cancer can be of two types depending upon the area affected, IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) which spreads to breast tissue and DCIS (Ductal Cancer In-situ) which remains confined to milk ducts.
DCIS is also referred to as the Stage 0 breast cancer which can be easily cured, but it has the tendency to grow into an invasive one if not attended. Treatments for ductal breast cancer depend upon the stage, abnormality in cells and reception ability of the cancer cells. Some effective treatment options for ductal breast cancer are as given below:
Breast Cancer Surgery
Depending upon the size and severity of the cancer, there are various types of surgeries performed by surgeons round the world. A part of the breast may be removed through the breast conserving surgery which is of two types- lumpectomy and quadrentectomy, where the removed portion is a lump or one fourth breast respectively. This is most often followed by radiotherapy. The other surgery option is mastectomy where the entire breast is removed. A breast reconstruction process may be opted by women after this.
In radiotherapy, radiations are used to destroy the cancer cells in the breast area. The radiotherapy is a good way of keeping cancer from coming back, after the surgery, and also helps women to live longer.
The treatment of ductal breast cancer through chemotherapy involves sending of anti cancer medications in your body. These medications then have a healing effect on the parts of the breast which are infected by the cancer.
Chemotherapy may not be required in case of DCIS because the cancer cells in DCIS are confined to ducts. But in case of IDC, chemotherapy can be adopted to initiate action against the cancer cells that have spread to the neighbor breast tissues.
Hormonal treatment involves shrinking of locally advanced breast cancer cells through the lowering the estrogen levels in the body as estrogen is known to stimulate growth of such cells. However, hormonal treatment is possible only when the cancer cells inside the person’s body have estrogen receptors, otherwise the option could be chemotherapy. Hormonal treatments are done pre and post surgery or after and along chemotherapy.
Biological therapy is a comparatively newer therapy being employed for breast cancer treatment in which certain drugs are used to hamper the functioning of cancer cells. These drugs act upon them in such a manner that the signal sent for multiplication of these cells is blocked.
Herceptin and lapatinib are two majorly used drugs for this purpose while others are still being tested. The former is an antibody which attaches itself to protein receptors of cancer cells and blocks them, whereas the latter blocks particular growth factor receptors on the cell surfaces.
If you are diagnosed with DCIS, then you do not need to panic as most women with DCIS are cured. But IDC is a critical matter which should be followed by an appropriate surgery. Also it is very essential to know the side effects of the above mentioned treatment before undergoing them. Most of these involve a lot of precautions which must be taken care of.
Photo Credit: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/breast/Patient/page2