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The following are treatment options for stage I breast cancer. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the woman with cancer.
Invasive ductal and invasive lobular carcinomas are treated the same way.
Surgery is the primary treatment for stage I breast cancer. The types of surgery are:
The risk of breast cancer recurrence will influence the type of adjuvant therapy offered after surgery for stage I breast cancer. These treatments may be used alone or in combination to reduce the chance of breast cancer recurrence and improve survival. Adjuvant therapy is often started 4–12 weeks after breast cancer surgery.
External beam radiation therapy is almost always offered after BCS for stage I breast cancer. It may also be offered after a mastectomy if the tumour has invaded the skin or muscles of the chest wall.
Hormonal therapy may be offered to women who have stage I breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive (ER+, PR+ or both).
The types of hormonal therapy offered for stage I breast cancer are:
Chemotherapy may be offered for stage I breast cancer:
Chemotherapy for breast cancer is not usually given as a single drug. Drugs are more commonly used in combination with one another because this has been shown to be more effective.
The most common chemotherapy combinations used to treat stage I breast cancer are:
For more detailed information on specific drugs, go to sources of drug information.
Women with HER2-positive stage I breast cancer may also be offered trastuzumab (Herceptin) with certain chemotherapy combinations.
Women with stage I breast cancer may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.
Thousands of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers work in regional cancer centres, lodges and community hospitals to support people receiving treatment.