Pink Up: Individualized treatments are key for fighting breast cancer

Pink Up: Individualized treatment is key for breast cancer

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Breast cancer treatment is not “one size fits all.” To increase your odds of beating it, a Heartland doctor said you need a cancer treatment made just for you.

“More than 250,000 patients are diagnosed yearly, we understand the gravity of the problem” said Dr. Sagar Patel.

Dr. Patel is an oncologist at Saint Francis Medical Center and said a big key to fighting breast cancer effectively is to have a specialized treatment plan for every patient. The primary goal for breast cancer therapy is the same, remove the problem and then prevent it from coming back. The route to get to that final destination of “cancer free” is unique for each and every patient.

Dr. Patel said all treatments are a balance of art and science in medicine and to get that balance, individualized care is key.

“We are really trying to gauge who actually needs therapy to the entire breast," said Dr. Patel. “Can we shorten these treatment times? Minimize the toxicity in relation? Do we need to treat the lymph nodes? To what dose do we need to treat the lymph nodes? These are all questions that are evolving and how we are pushing the envelope. At the same time, our technology and how we are able to deliver therapy has maximally improved. The key component is image guidance. We are able to see the target. We are able to deliver the target accurately and precisely."

Dr. Patel said about 12 percent of women over their lifetime are diagnosed with breast cancer, and each patient of course is different and therefore needs a personalized treatment.

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