4 Types of Adjuvant Therapies for Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer treatment often involves a combination of different therapies aimed at fighting the cancer. As well as surgery, adjuvant therapies play a crucial role in preventing recurrence and promoting recovery. Here are four types of adjuvant therapies commonly used in breast cancer treatment:


  • Purpose: Radiotherapy can be administered before or after surgery to target tumour cells. Pre-operative radiotherapy aims to halt or shrink tumour growth, while post-operative therapy aims to eradicate any remaining cancer cells in the breast area to reduce the risk of relapse.
  • Procedure: Computer tomography helps calculate the precise dosage of radiation needed and the area to be treated, minimising the potential side effects of the therapy.
  • Duration: Typically lasts five to six weeks, during which the affected skin area remains sensitive.


  • Purpose: Chemotherapy is used to inhibit cell division and destroy cancer cells, particularly when tumours are spreading through the body and other treatment options are insufficient.
  • Procedure: Chemotherapy can be administered before or after surgery and may cause side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and vomiting. Medication can help manage these side effects.

Hormone Therapy:

  • Purpose: Hormone therapy is effective for breast tumours that are hormone receptor positive, meaning they are influenced by hormones like oestrogen. This treatment aims to suppress the body's production of hormones that contribute to tumour growth.
  • Administration: Typically prescribed following surgery for patients with hormone receptor-positive tumours.

Breast Reconstruction:

  • Purpose: Restoring the appearance of the breast is a key part of the recovery process after mastectomy. Breast reconstruction options include using implants or transferring tissue from other areas of the body.
  • Procedure: Reconstruction is a surgical procedure, with options including implants or tissue transfer from the back muscle or lower abdominal area.

Choosing the appropriate therapies will depend on various factors, including the stage of the cancer, overall health, and treatment goals. It's essential for patients to discuss these options with their healthcare team to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to their needs. By leveraging a combination of suitable adjuvant therapies, patients can improve their long-term quality of life following breast cancer treatment.

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