Skip to main content

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment. Doctors from different specialties often work together to treat breast cancer. If you have a cancer diagnosis, your doctor will discuss these options with you and develop a plan that is best for you.

Types of treatment for breast cancer include:

  • Surgery - An operation where a doctor cuts out cancer tissue or removes the breast all together.
  • Chemotherapy - Medicines that shrinks or kill the cancer cells. These come in the form of pills or are given through an IV.  Some people may need both.
  • Hormonal therapy - Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
  • Biological therapy - Works with the body’s immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.
  • Radiation therapy - Uses high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill the cancer cells.

Complementary and alternative medicine

Complementary and alternative medicines, such as meditation, yoga and supplements like vitamins and herbs, are not standard cancer treatments.

Many kinds of complementary and alternative medicine have not been tested scientifically and may not be safe. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits before you start any kind of complementary or alternative medicine.

Learn more at