Immune System Modulation

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Prevention of Recurrence

Patients with breast cancer are commonly offered additional treatments after surgery to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. These treatments include chemotherapy and hormonal treatments.

Chemotherapy is recommended based on the patient’s age, tumor size, lymph node involvement, and tumor characteristics. Various chemotherapy regimens are available, and often a regimen is selected based on the patient’s general health condition and tumors characteristics. Chemotherapy is usually given after surgery, but in selected patients, chemotherapy can be given before the surgery to shrink the size of tumor and improve the surgical outcome.

Hormonal treatments have been used in patients with breast cancer tumors that express estrogen receptors. Historically, tamoxifen has been used in patients with breast cancer, but recently a new class of drugs (aromatase inhibitors) have shown to be slightly more effective in reducing the risk of recurrence in postmenopausal women with breast cancer. Tamoxifen remains the treatment of choice for premenopausal women. Hormonal treatments significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in patients with estrogen receptor expressing tumors. In addition, hormonal treatments reduce the risk of a new breast cancer in the other breast.

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