Dr. Larissa Korde discusses the options for treating breast cancer, including surgery, radiation, and systemic therapy. Surgically removing the tumor is one of the most important aspects of treating breast cancer and is almost always recommended. Radiation is used to target and kill any cancer cells that may remain after surgery. Radiation is always recommended after a lumpectomy, but often not recommended after a mastectomy. Following surgery, the local lymph nodes are evaluated--a procedure that's known as a sentinel lymph node biopsy--to see if the cancer has the potential to spread. Systemic therapies include chemotherapy, hormonal, and targeted therapies. Chemotherapy uses medicines to kill rapidly divining cells, but has toxicity and negative side effects. Hormonal therapies use pills to reduce hormone levels or block receptors, reducing the risk of recurrence by up to 50%. Targeted therapies are drugs specifically targeted to one abnormality, the most common of which is Herceptin.