Introduction: What is Breast Cancer?
When healthy cells in the breast grow and multiply uncontrollably, they form a mass of cells (called tumours), resulting in cancer. These tumours may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer and begins within the milk ducts. Non-invasive or stage 0 of this cancer type that has not spread outside the duct is called Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS). When this cancer spreads outside the duct or lobule, it is called invasive ductal carcinoma.
Based on the hormonal response of breast cancer, they can be grouped into three types:
- Hormone-receptor positive
- HER2 positive
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
A multidisciplinary team of doctors treat breast cancer. They will evaluate your signs, symptoms, and diagnostic test results, including the stage and grade of cancer, to determine the most suitable treatment options.
Standard breast cancer treatment includes:
This is usually the first line of treatment for breast cancers and involves the removal of the tumour and some amount of healthy surrounding tissue. During the surgery, the surgeon also examines the axillary lymph nodes for signs of cancer. If cancer has spread to these lymph nodes, they may be removed during breast cancer surgery. In advanced breast cancer cases, the entire breast may be surgically removed (called mastectomy).
- Radiation therapy
This treatment uses high-energy radiation to damage or kill cancer cells. There are different radiation therapies, and your doctor will choose the most suitable one for your condition.
Radiation therapy is never used alone and is often combined with other treatments like chemotherapy. It is usually used after breast cancer surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent their recurrence.
In the case of large breast tumours, radiation therapy may be used before the surgery to shrink the tumour size. This is called neoadjuvant therapy.
This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given to patients with breast cancer to shrink their tumour, making its surgical removal easy and reducing the chance of recurrence.
Since the chemotherapy drugs are given orally or IV, it is called a systemic treatment. You may experience side effects due to this treatment, which may vary depending upon the drug used, its mode of administration, age and overall health.
- Hormone therapy
Hormone or endocrine therapy is an effective treatment for breast cancers that test positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors. Since these tumours use hormones as their fuel to grow, using drugs to suppress these hormones prevents the growth and recurrence of these cancers.
Hormone therapy may be given three to six months before surgery to shrink the tumour and make its removal easy. In some cases, it may be used after surgery to lower the risk of recurrence.
Other treatments used for breast cancer are targeted drug therapy and immunotherapy.
How Can Klarity Oncology Help?
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, we can assist you in your journey. From helping you find a private oncologist near you to getting an appointment with the top oncologists in the UK, we’ve got you covered.
If you are comfortable with your oncologist but wish to get a second opinion, we can help schedule priority appointments, including face-to-face and video consultations. When it comes to cancer, we understand the importance of time! Contact us for personalised and tailor-made cancer treatments at UK’s top oncology centres.
Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in the UK
Besides the fear and anxiety surrounding breast cancer, most people also worry about its financial implications. The treatment cost for breast cancer in the UK is far more affordable than in many Western countries.
Breast cancer treatment cost in the UK also varies in different cities and is mainly dependent upon factors like:
- Stage and grade of the cancer
- Type of treatments prescribed
- The expertise of the doctor and multidisciplinary health team
- Hospital or cancer care centre selected for the treatment
How is Breast Cancer Treatment Cost Calculated?
It is natural to worry about the treatment cost when diagnosed with cancer. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your treatment costs are calculated based on several factors such as:
- The severity of your disease
- Treatments recommended for your condition
- Number of radiation and chemotherapy sessions you require
- Surgical costs
- Cost of hospital stay during your treatment journey
- Cost of medications
- Diagnostic test costs
- Doctor visit charges
- Rehabilitation costs
Treating advanced-stage breast cancer is associated with high incremental costs. It is also essential to understand that the cost estimate given before treatment may change depending on your progress.
Talk to Us
If you need help with your diagnosis and treatment plan, seek a second opinion from one of the top breast cancer specialists in the UK. Talk to us today!