Adjuvant Therapy

You've had surgery, your lymph nodes were negative for active cancer cells, and your pathology report states "no angiolymphatic invasion detected." All of this adds up to early stage breast cancern which is the best prognosis. But how can you be sure that some cancer cells aren't hidden in other parts of the body? Microscopic cancer cells are almost impossible to detect and it only takes one to start a new tumor. There are certain genetic patterns within cancer cells that make them more aggressive and more likely to have spread by other means than the lymphatic system.

When tumors have these patterns or overexpress certain proteins, your doctor may recommend additional treatment called "adjuvant therapy" as a way to kill any remaining cancer cells that are too small to be seen by available tests. Adjuvant therapy is used after primary treatments such as surgery or radiation to decrease the chance of cancer recurrence. Unfortunately there are side affects to these types of treatments.

There are five main types of adjuvant therapy based on types of cancer and its stage.

Talk with your doctor for more information about Adjuvant therapy.

Karen Moody ...© All rights reserved