Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that uses a drug or combination of drugs to treat cancer. The goal of chemotherapy is to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. These medications may be used in conjunction with other therapies to treat breast cancer. Not all breast cancers will be treated with chemotherapy. A medical oncologist works closely with each patient to determine the best treatment, according to the patient's specific cancer type.
The hormone estrogen and progesterone can stimulate the growth of some breast cancers – these are called hormone-sensitive or hormone-dependent breast cancers. Hormone therapy is used to stop or slow the growth of these tumors. A medical oncologist may prescribe this type of treatment based on the type of cancer diagnosed.
Biological therapy/immunotherapy are man-made proteins that alter the growth and replication of a cancer cell by interfering with its specific biological pathways. Biological agents find chemical or genetic processes, which are present in the cancer cell, but not in normal cells.