Breast Cancer Home > Treatments for Breast Cancer

When discussing the various breast cancer treatment options with your healthcare provider, you should know that you have the option of local or systemic treatment. Surgery and radiation therapy are examples of local treatment and are designed to remove or destroy cancer in the breast.
Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy, on the other hand, are examples of systemic treatments for breast cancer. They enter the bloodstream and destroy or control cancer by working throughout the body.
Some women with breast cancer have systemic therapy to shrink the tumor before pursuing a local therapy, like surgery or radiation. Others have surgery and/or radiation first to prevent the cancer from coming back and then undergo systemic therapy after.
(Click Breast Cancer Treatment to learn more, including why a second opinion may be warranted, the value of follow-up care and clinical trials, and possible side effects of treatment.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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