After a cancer diagnosis, a medical oncologist typically becomes the primary health care provider, determining the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient. After compiling a detailed pathology report outlining the results from tests like MRI, CAT scan, mammograms, genetic tests, and biopsies, Dr. Khan and the oncology team at Hoag Breast Center design a treatment plan tailored to each patient.
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- Chemotherapy and radiation
- Hormone therapy
- Biological therapy
- Targeted therapies such as Intraoperative Radiation (IORT)
Types of Breast Cancer Treatment
Because no two cases of breast cancer are alike, oncologists decide treatment on a case by case basis, depending on factors such as the stage, location, likelihood of recurrence, and how likely the tumors are to respond to certain treatments.
Estrogen and progesterone receptor positive tumors for example are more likely to respond to hormone therapy, which is ineffective in tumors that are not receptive to hormones (known as “triple negative” tumors).
Neoadjuvant (Induction) Therapy
This treatment is the “first strike” treatment against breast tumors after a diagnosis, with the goal of shrinking the tumors before the next phase of treatment, which is typically to excise the tumors through surgery. Chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapies fall under this category.
This approach utilizes a combination of treatments to target breast tumors, like radiation and chemotherapy or chemotherapy and surgery. In this instance, the tumors are removed with surgery first, followed by treatment with chemotherapy.
This treatment suppresses hormone activity for tumors whose growth is responsive to hormones, most commonly estrogen and progesterone.
Additional Breast Cancer Testing
Oncotype DX – This is a genetic test used to help identify a woman’s risk of developing certain types of breast cancer (such as estrogen receptor positive), as well as likelihood of recurrence. The results of an oncotype DX test can also help oncologists to decide on the most effective treatment options for a patient.
Breast Cancer Index (BCI) – This test can help to determine the likelihood of a recurrence of breast cancer after five years, and help an oncologist decide the type and duration of treatment. Some women at higher risk of recurrence after five years may benefit from treatment with anti hormone therapies for longer than five years, for example.
Mammaprint – This test was designed to monitor the activity of certain genes in order to help anticipate the likelihood of recurrence within ten years of diagnosis, and appropriate treatment options.
Contact a Breast Cancer Specialist Today
For compassionate, professional diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Sadia Khan, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon at Hoag Breast Care Center in Newport Beach. Please call 949.390.9381 to schedule a comprehensive consultation today!