Breast Cancer Medication

Biological Therapy
Biological therapy is the newest and most targeted form of breast cancer medication. Biological therapy uses your body's own immune system to attack the cancer cells, without affecting healthy cells. Because biological therapy is more targeted than chemotherapy, it generally produces fewer and less severe side effects. However, serious heart and lung problems are possible with biological therapy.
 
Biological therapies usually are manufactured versions of antibodies, which are delicate molecules that would be destroyed by the digestive tract if taken by mouth. Therefore, most biological therapies are given by injection.
 
Currently, there is one biological therapy approved for breast cancer -- trastuzumab (Herceptin®). It is given to women whose lab tests show that a breast tumor has too much of a specific protein known as HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2). By blocking HER2, Herceptin can slow down or stop the growth of the cancer cells.
 

Final Thoughts

Medications are often an integral part of breast cancer treatment. There are a variety of different medications available, each with different advantages and disadvantages. The particular medication that is best for your situation will depend on many different factors. If you have any questions about your treatment plan, please talk with your healthcare provider.
 
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