Treatment for breast cancer has advanced in recent years by becoming more and more personalized, experts say.
Not personalized to the patient, mind you, but to the particular tumors and cancer cells inside that patient.
New tests are allowing doctors to figure out what genetic or biological factors are driving each individual woman's type of cancer, and new therapies are being targeted to directly attack those specific factors -- information that cancer experts intend to emphasize during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
"When it comes to treating breast cancer, we used to throw the book at everyone," said Dr. Christy A. Russell, a board member of the American Cancer Society's California division and an associate professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. "Now it's much more targeted."
The same five treatment options are still available to women with breast cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy. But researchers are honing and improving each option, either to better target the cancer cells or to provide women with a wider range of treatment choices.
Resources: Health Day