management of breast cancer

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The management of breast cancer is determined by the stage of the disease and in part, the patient's wishes. Patient involvement has been shown to reduce the incidence of anxiety and depression after treatment.

Breast cancer management in recent years has moved away from radical to conservative surgery. This has occured due to a change in theory of how breast cancer disseminates - see submenu.

Management requires a multidisciplinary approach entailing input from:

  • surgeon
  • breast care nurse
  • pathologist e.g. FNAC at time of clinic
  • radiologist e.g. mammography
  • oncologist e.g. in advanced disease
  • psychiatrist e.g. in event of depressive illness
  • plastic surgeon e.g. for breast reconstruction

Management may be considered to consist of a combination of:

  • local treatments to control local disease
  • systemic treatments to treat micrometastatic disease

Last reviewed 02/2019