Alternative Treatments And Approaches To Breast Cancer: Options To Discuss With Your Oncologist

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, or you suspect that due to a genetic predisposition for the disease you will develop it, you may want to look at various treatments and/or preventive measures that could help. Some of these are a little extreme and may be reminiscent of stories of celebrities who have done the same, but the end results are unarguably positive. Other options may require time, paperwork and your oncologist's backing. Here are some of those alternative approaches to and treatments for breast cancer.

Double Mastectomy

As extreme as a double mastectomy is, you cut your risks of breast cancer significantly when this approach is used to prevent the disease. This approach is often used when a patient has an extremely high risk for the disease because more than one female family member has died of it and you are a direct descendant of all of them. For example, if your mother, grandmother and great grandmother all died of breast cancer by the time they were in their fifties, you may want to consider this approach.

As a treatment, an oncologist may suggest that you get a double mastectomy if you have developed lumps or signs of cancer in both breasts and/or have had the disease two or more times. Rather than attempt to save your breasts and just keep cutting away at the remaining tissue, your doctor removes all remaining breast tissue, leaving only the chest wall and intercostal muscles (the muscle "meat" between each of your ribs). Unless cancer cells show up in your lymph and blood tests, the removal of your breasts removes the possibility of developing breast cancer a third time.

Clinical Research Trials

New drugs for various types of cancer are being developed all the time. News of these clinical trials often arrives in front of oncologists via emails, professional organizations and recruiters who are looking for patients who want to be part of the trials. If you want to know if there are any clinical trials for new medicines available for patients with breast cancer, you should ask your oncologist. He or she might know of a trial that might be something you could try, although you would have to fit all of the requirements of the trials before your doctor would recommend it for you. Most of these trials are for curative medicines, not preventive medicines, in which case you will still want to discuss this possibility with your doctor. Contact a company like Southwest Oncology Centers for more information.