The first step and most common form of treatment for breast cancer is surgery. Surgery involves removing the tumor and nearby margins. The margin is the surrounding tissue that might be cancerous. The goal of surgery is to remove not only the tumor, but also enough of the margin to be able to test for the spread of the cancer. Once the removed tissue is checked, your post-operative report should tell you if you had "clear margins," (meaning the tissue farthest away from the breast was free of any cancer cells.)
Some people with Stage 2 or Stage 3 cancer may receive chemotherapy first, which is known as "pre-operative " or "neoadjuvant*" chemotherapy. The goal is to shrink the tumor. By making it smaller first, you may have the option of a breast-conserving surgery or lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy.
Chemotherapy is a treatment method that uses a combination of drugs to either destroy cancer cells or slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Cytotoxic drugs (meaning "toxic to cells") are usually given orally or through a vein (intravenously or "through the bloodstream"). Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy, meaning that the drugs travel in the bloodstream throughout the entire body.
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It affects cells only in the part of the body that is treated with the radiation. Breast cancer radiation therapy may be used to destroy any remaining mutated cells that remain in the breast or armpit area after surgery.
Breast Self Examination for men is easy and simple. Although Breast Cancer in men is rare, it is advisable to perform breast self examination regularly. Pick one motion to use every time you conduct your BSE, it makes it easier for you to detect any changes in your breast.
Stand in front of the mirror and look at the skin for any changes including lump, swelling, dimpling or puckering. Look straight ahead; move to the right and to the left and back to the centre.
Slowly raise your arms above your head, again looking for skin changes dimpling or puckering. Move to the right and to the left. Bring your hands on your hips. Flex your pectoral muscle again looking for dimpling or puckering or skin changes. Move to right and to the left.
Lie on your back (or stand still). Use your right hand to examine your left breast and vice versa. Place your left hand under your head and bring your right hand to the armpit area to examine your left breast.
Use three pressures: light, medium and deep dime sized circles. Continue to move down the chest in light, medium and deep circular moves. Repeat the moves till you cover the whole breast. Squeeze the nipple to observe the discharge of any fluid.