Breast cancer is the most common female cancer, with annually more than one million new patients diagnosed worldwide. The incidence of breast cancer has increased steadily in the developed countries over the past few decades, but the mortality caused by breast cancer has decreased in recent years, partly because of improved screening techniques, surgical and radiotherapy interventions, understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease, and utilization of traditional chemotherapies in a more efficacious manner. One of the most exciting areas of improvement in the treatment of breast cancer is the entrance of novel therapies into the oncology practice, especially the rapidly progressing area of targeted and biological therapies. In early-stage (0/I/II) breast cancer the primary tumor is removed by surgery, and adjuvant treatments are used to eradicate locoregional and distant micro-deposits of the tumor. To estimate the risk of relapse, prognostic factors are used. The selection of optimal adjuvant therapy is based on established predictive factors. This article reviews the current status of treatment for early-stage breast cancer, including breast conserving therapy, post-mastectomy radiotherapy, adjuvant hormone therapy, chemotherapy, as well as trastuzumab therapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive tumors.
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