Your breast cancer treatment plan is based on both medical and personal choices. Each treatment option has risks and benefits to consider along with your own values and lifestyle.

Your treatment is tailored to:

  • Your specific breast cancer
  • The stage of the breast cancer
  • Your overall health, age, and other medical issues
  • Your personal preferences

Treatment options include:

Because of the difference between tumors and people, your treatment plan may differ from another’s, even though you both have breast cancer. Breast cancer treatment is divided into two parts: local and systemic.

Local Therapy

Local therapy removes the cancer from a limited area, such as the breast, chest wall, or lymph nodes in the underarm area. Local therapy involves surgery, with or without radiation therapy to the breast area. It helps ensure the cancer doesn’t come back to that area.

Systemic Therapy

Systemic therapy – or adjuvant therapy – aims to get rid of cancer cells that may have spread from the breast to other parts of the body. Systemic therapy uses drug therapies (either delivered through an IV or in a pill) that travel throughout the body to get rid of cancer cells. Systemic therapy includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or stage 0 breast cancer is when cancer cells are contained in the milk ducts. Surgery is generally the first step to treat DCIS. Learn more about treatment for DCIS.

Metastatic or stage IV breast cancer (also referred to as advanced breast cancer) is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body. To learn more about treatment for metastatic breast cancer, please click here or see Komen’s national website.

Learn more about the following at Komen’s national website: