Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have several treatment options to consider.

Many tests are used to evaluate a woman diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Your pathology report plays an important role in defining your treatment plan. It provides information you and your doctor need to make the best treatment choices for your particular diagnosis.

Your doctor will discuss your treatment options based on your particular cancer, test results, pathology reports, and previous treatments. Some of the therapies that may be options for women with metastatic breast cancer include the following:

Hormonal treatment

Hormonal treatment is considered a systemic therapy, which means the medication travels in the bloodstream to affect or treat cancer cells. It has been prescribed to treat hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer for many years. It may be used to reduce the growth or spread of breast cancer. If the cancer is found to be of the type that may be sensitive to estrogen, hormonal treatment may be able to keep estrogen from helping the cancer cells to grow and divide.

The presence of hormone receptors in the cancerous tumor is the best way to predict a woman's response to hormonal treatment for breast cancer. If it has not already been done, your doctor can do a test to determine the hormone receptor-status of your tumor.

The hormonal treatment you and your doctor decide is right for you will depend on a number of factors, such as whether you are premenopausal or postmenopausal. Ask your physician about these therapies.

A woman may have already received hormonal treatment following her initial diagnosis and treatment. FASLODEX is one hormonal treatment for hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women whose breast cancer has returned or progressed following other antiestrogen therapy, such as tamoxifen. Click here to see how FASLODEX works.

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Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that target and destroy rapidly dividing cells, including cancer cells. It can be used in metastatic breast cancer to shrink cancerous tumors and is sometimes used if it is believed that the breast cancer will not adequately respond to hormonal treatment. Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy.

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Biologically targeted therapy

This term covers a range of treatments. These systemic therapies fight cancer by targeting specific features of cancer cells. They are often added to chemotherapy. For example, there are specific treatments that target breast cancer cells that make too much of a protein called HER2/neu. This targeted therapy can block the effects of the HER2/neu proteins, in which case the tumor cells are less able to grow.

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Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses penetrating beams of high-energy waves or streams of particles to hinder the growth of or kill cancer cells. In metastatic disease, radiation is most commonly used to treat metastatic tumors in the brain, breast or chest wall or pain due to bone metastases. Radiation therapy is referred to as a local therapy because it treats a specific area of the body.

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Surgery is not commonly used in metastatic breast cancer but may be an option for some women. Surgery may be used in selected patients to remove painful breast tissue or metastases in the brain, spinal column, or lungs. Like radiation, surgery is considered a local therapy.

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Learn how you can take an active role in your treatment

FASLODEX is a prescription medicine used to treat hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer in women who have gone through menopause whose disease has spread after treatment with antiestrogen medicine.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: You should not receive FASLODEX if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in FASLODEX. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to FASLODEX may include itching, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or trouble breathing.

Click here for additional safety information.

Supporting women with metastatic breast cancer for over a decade.Supporting women with metastatic breast cancer for over a decade.

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