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Treatment of Stage II Breast Cancer
Just like stage I breast cancer, stage II breast cancer in often treated with lumpectomy and radiation, but sometimes mastectomy may be a better surgical option or patients choice. Unlike stage I breast cancer, in stage II breast cancer, if the tumor size is more than 5 cms in size, or if cancer has spread to more than three lymph nodes, patient will benefit from radiation therapy even if the surgical choice was mastectomy. Adjuvant chemotherapy is advised for all patients unless there is something that suggests that patient may not tolerate chemotherapy. If the tumor is found to be hormone receptor positive, adjuvant Hormonal therapy is almost always recommended. If the patient has a larger tumor, a good option would be to receive chemotherapy prior to surgery (called neoadjuvant chemotherapy). Sometimes the size of the tumor relative to women's breast size may make lumpectomy difficult or impossible. In these situations neoadjuvant chemotherapy is given with the idea of decreasing the tumor size so that a better surgery can be performed. Depending on the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the surgeon may opt to do a lumpectomy or mastectomy. The patient may get further chemotherapy and radiation therapy after the surgery depending upon the type of surgery and the number of nodes involved as mentioned above. Hormonal therapy is advised to almost all the patients who has hormone receptor positive tumor.
Breast cancer resources