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Effective Breast Cancer Treatments in the Elderly

According to the World Health Organization, in 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685,000 deaths globally. As of the end of 2020, there were 7.8 million women alive who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 5 years, making it the most prevalent cancer in the world. Approximately half of breast cancers develop in women who have no identifiable breast cancer risk factor and are aged over 40 years.

Breast cancer mortality changed little from the 1930s through to the 1970s.  Improvements in survival began in the 1980s in countries with early detection programmes combined with different modes of treatment to eradicate invasive disease. So there is hope for women around the world, but what treatment options do they have?


  1. Mastectomy

Removal of the breast is the most common breast cancer treatment worldwide. Doctors can also remove the lymph nodes near the patient’s underarms through mastectomy. Some Doctors recommend this treatment option for positive results even if there is a chance of developing lymphedema.

However, even after surgery, there is a chance that cancer cells remain in the body, leading to the formation of a new tumor. Therefore, patients still need to undergo radiation or chemotherapy treatment to minimize the risk of the cancer returning.


  1. Radiation

Radiation is a cancer treatment method that can reduce the growth of cancer cells after surgery. Most doctors recommend radiation for cancer cells in the underarm area near the lymph nodes.

A machine delivers a beam of high-energy rays to the patient’s breast tissue during the treatment. The process can take weeks to months, depending on the cancer cell activity. During the treatment, the most common side effects are fatigue, redness, swelling, and skin peeling in the area being treated.


  1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses chemicals to fight cancer cells in the body. It often coincides with other breast cancer treatments such as hormone therapy, surgery, or radiation. During the treatment, the doctor injects the patient with medications, usually treated through an intravenous drip into a patient’s veins. Some of the known side effects are hair loss, fatigue, and dryness of the skin.


  1. Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is a breast cancer treatment that aims to stop the growth of hormone-sensitive cancers. Often used with other treatments, like surgery and radiation, a doctor will prescribe medication for the patient to take. This medication slows down the growth of tumors, allowing the doctors to observe and supervise the patient regularly, to ensure that the drug is working properly.


  1. Targeted Therapy

Similarly, targeted therapy is a cancer treatment method that uses medications to target specific parts of the cancer cells. The drug can be in the form of tablets, injections, infusions, or even a patch. Like other treatments, targeted therapy includes side effects such as eye inflammation and infection, nausea, and headaches.

Targeted therapy is one of the most recent breast cancer treatments that has proven effective in treating breast cancer. It works by stopping cancer cells from growing and spreading and stimulating the immune system to kill cancer cells.



If a woman develops breast cancer, she must seek treatment as soon as possible to give her the best chance to live a long and healthy life.

Doctors may recommend surgery as the first treatment option because it is the fastest and easiest way to remove cancer, but it all depends on the prognosis and the treating Specialist. They may also recommend other treatment options in conjunction with this treatment, before or after surgery.

Homestyle Aged Care is one of the best Nursing homes in Melbourne. We offer holistic Aged Care services, ensuring  a homely environment of caring, compassion and respect for all residents.  If you’re looking for a home near you, check our website locations today.


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