Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer can be treated in many different ways. Each treatment method will work best for different individuals. Some people see best results from a combination of different treatments. It is best to consult with your doctor about which treatment method is right for you. However, it is a good idea to know a little about each of the most common treatment types before consulting with a doctor. This way you can make the most informed decision.

Surgery
Surgery is almost always used to help fight cancer. Surgery is usually the first step in fighting cancer. The cancer is removed, and the breast is reconstructed. There are several different types of surgery. The mastectomy removes the whole breast. The lumpectomy removes the cancer tumor and a little of the surrounding tissue. A axillary lymph node dissection is often used when the cancer has spread past the milk ducts in the breast. It can be used in conjunction with the other forms of surgery.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is another common form of breast cancer treatment. After the cancer has been removed the drugs are placed into the blood stream. The drugs kill any rapidly reproducing cells. Since cancer reproduces very quickly, this is an effective way to remove all cancer from the entire body. However, there are serious side effects to this treatment as well such as hair loss, nausea, and weakness.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy sends targeted radiation to the area affected by the cancer. The radiation helps kill any lingering cancer cells that might exist. Radiation treatments are usually prescribed for women who have stage 0 through stage III form of cancer. It is not used as much for higher levels of cancer because it is a system designed to target small areas of the body.

Hormonal Therapy
Hormonal therapy is used for hormone positive forms of breast cancer. The hormone therapy blocks the production of estrogen in the body which can shrink hormone positive breast cancers. This form of treatment is rarer than the others because hormone positive breast cancer is not as common.

Complementary and Holistic Medicine
Complementary and holistic medicine is often used in conjunction with other treatments. Usually these kinds of medicines help ease side effects, improve the quality of life of the patient, and help soothe symptoms. Treatments often include improved diet, exercise, and herbs. Rarely is holistic medicine used completely to heal cancer, although some people believe that it can. It is best to talk to your doctor before starting any holistic therapies.

The most important natural treatment for cancer is one’s diet. Eating glucose rich foods feeds your cancer cells and cutting off their food supply can help kill your cancer cells. Many survivors have benefitted from the Breast Cancer Diet

Receive a free consultation from a dietitian with the Breast Cancer Diet Guide

Breast Cancer Herbal Treatment

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with roughly 175,000 new cases reported each year. Conventional treatment for breast cancer generally consists of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, depending upon the extent of the disease. Some women are now opting for a more natural treatment regimen, either in conjunction with the chemotherapy and radiation, or with herbs alone. Some of the following herbs are currently being used for women with breast cancer, with promising results.

Astragalus root, Maitake mushrooms, echinacea and ginseng are used to boost the immune system, which is clearly not functioning properly in an individual with cancer.

Black cohosh, red clover, chasteberry and turmeric are herbs that are high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are a form of estrogen that block the stronger, more damaging estrogens. They work by fitting into the same receptors in breast cells that estrogens do, thus preventing the estrogen’s ability to fit there. Chasteberry also may inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.

Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle, and also a powerful antioxidant, has shown promise for fighting breast cancer. Silymarin also provides an added benefit of protecting the liver.

Some cancer-fighting nutrients that can be added to the diet include green tea, garlic and onions. Studies have shown that the organic ingredient of garlic, allyl sulfur, is effective in inhibiting or preventing cancer development. Green tea acts as a powerful antioxidant and stimulates the immune system. It can be either drank in tea form, or taken in a standardized capsule.

Herbs such as bloodroot, don quai, juniper and mandrake may help reduce breast cancer cell growth.

Burdock root acts as a powerful antioxidant. It helps to protect against cancer by helping control cell mutation. It also aids in elimination of toxins. Burdock purifies the blood and stimulates the digestive and immune systems.

In addition to herbs that are taken orally, homemade cancer creams may be placed on the affected breast or breasts. These creams contain extracts of herbs and work by promoting a separation of the tumor from the tissue that supports it. Cancer creams are applied to skin tumors or the skin over internal tumor sites. The ingredients differ, but usually are mixed in an oily base like beeswax, olive oil, butter or pine tar, which allow the active ingredients to penetrate the skin. Ingredients may include bloodroot, cleavers herb, lobelia, chickweed, cayenne, DMSO, chaparral, Irish moss, comfrey, marshmallow, myrrh, birch bark and mullein.

As with any health care regimen, consult your doctor or naturopath to determine the correct herbs and dosages for you.

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