What to Know About Your Treatment Choices for Breast Cancer The good news is that breast cancer can be treated successfully. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or any combination of these. Here's a closer look at each. Questions to Ask About Treatment for Breast Cancer Surgery for Breast Cancer Treatment Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today, women have many surgical options and choices. Breast Reconstruction Breast reconstruction surgery involves creating a breast mound that comes as close as possible to the form and appearance of the natural breast. Lymphedema After a Mastectomy Whenever the normal drainage pattern in the lymph nodes is disturbed or damaged—often during surgery to remove the lymph nodes—the arm may swell. This swelling, caused by too much fluid, is called lymphedema. Post-Mastectomy Prosthesis A prosthesis can be worn against the skin, inside the pocket of a mastectomy bra, or attached to the chest wall. Prosthetic devices are designed to look feminine and be comfortable. Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment Radiation therapy is a process that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. Radiation done after surgery can kill cancer cells that may not be seen during surgery. Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment Your oncologist will determine how long and how often you will have chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously or by pill, and is usually a combination of drugs. Other Treatments for Breast Cancer Other treatments for breast cancer include hormone therapy, used to prevent the growth, spread, and recurrence of the cancer, adjuvant therapy, and biological therapy. About Tamoxifen Tamoxifen has been used to treat both advanced and early stage breast cancer. More recently, tamoxifen is being used as an additional therapy following primary treatment for early stage breast cancer. About Taxol Taxol, or paclitaxel, is a drug used for treating certain women who have advanced breast or ovarian cancer. Paclitaxel is a compound that is extracted from the bark of the Pacific yew tree. About Clinical Trials: Information from the National Cancer Institute Clinical trials are studies, managed by government agencies, educational institutions, private not-for-profit organizations, or commercial businesses, to develop, produce, and evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments and therapies for diseases. Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) STAR was a clinical trial of the drug raloxifene that included more than 19,000 postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer. The results showed that raloxifene worked as well as tamoxifen at reducing breast cancer risk.