If you have had breast conserving treatment you will need
to have radiation therapy.
In some circumstances, you may also require radiation therapy
after a mastectomy.
Whichever operation you have, you may be advised by your
specialist to have additional treatment after your operation
and radiation therapy. This treatment is called adjuvant
therapy and is used either to destroy any cancer cells
that may have spread to other parts of the body or to reduce
the risk of this occurring.
Adjuvant therapy is usually only offered to women who are
considered to have a moderate or higher chance of their cancer
coming back after surgery. You may have only one type of additional
therapy or may have more than one.
There are three main types of adjuvant therapy:
There are often clinical trails running to test new treatments.
Your doctor may recommend you register for one of these.
you may have different therapies depending on whether
you are pre or post-menopausal. Normally Tamoxifen is
given only to post-menopausal women
- if you want to become pregnant normally you would not
start taking Tamoxifen
- if your cancer cells are receptor positive (are sensitive
to oestrogen) you will normally have either ovarian treatment
(pre-menopausal) or Tamoxifen (post-menopausal)
- chemotherapy is normally recommended if the cancer has
spread to the lymph nodes and is oestrogen negative
- if your cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and your
cancer cells are oestrogen positive, the specialist may
recommend that you have chemotherapy as well as Tamoxifen.
You should seek to understand the reason for this.