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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 1 - Introduction

Treatment Introduction
In recent years, due to earlier detection and more effective treatments, many women diagnosed with breast cancer overcome the disease and go on to live healthy lives.

Treatment Options Recommended By Your Health Care Provider
It’s important to understand the different types of treatment options available to you, because you are an integral part of your decision-making team. Your medical team will advocate certain treatments, but they will also seek your input.

They will recommend a plan based on:
- Stage of cancer and whether or not it has spread
- Type of cancer, and status of the estrogen, progesterone, or HER2/neu receptors found in the cancer cells
- Your age, health, and menstrual/menopausal stage
- And whether or not this is your first cancer treatment

In general, there are five treatment options, and most treatment plans include a combination of the following:
1) Surgery
2) Radiation
3) Hormone Therapy
4) Chemotherapy
5) Targeted Therapies

Some are local, targeting just the area around the tumor with surgery or radiation. Others are systemic, targeting your whole body with cancer-fighting agents such as chemotherapy.

Most women receive a combination of treatments, but each case is unique, and your medical team will work to find the most effective treatment for you.

Getting A Second Opinion
Even so, you may find yourself second-guessing their recommendations or suggested treatment plan. If you’re hesitant for any reason, you should get the opinion of another doctor before beginning treatment. Your doctor will not mind if you want a second opinion; some insurance plans even require it.

Again, don’t hesitate to ask your medical team questions. When it comes to getting a second opinion, you are your own best advocate.

Related Questions

  • Norma  Cook Profile

    After my 8mm tumor was removed, I had clear margins and clear lymph nodes, but report showed Grade 3 cancer. Finding out from oncologist tomorrow about HER2. Has anyone else been Grade 3 but HER2 negative? What treatment did you receive?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2014
    over 4 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Mandana K. Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My tumor was grade 3, my doctors said I do not need Radiation therapy .i am 42 years old.After chemo I must take Tamoxifen at least for 5 years.

      Comment
    • Mandana K. Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was in stage 2A, 22mm tumor in my left breast.ER+,HER2- and nodes were clear.i did bilateral mastectomy ,myself wanted it,with reconstruction at the same time,I did my 4course chemotherapy.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've had 4 chemo treatments to shrink tumor and lymph nodes before surgery. If I have lumpectomy will I have to have chemo again?? Or just radiation?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Everybody's treatment plan is different. It just depends of the many facts about your particular cancer. This is something you should talk to your oncologist about. I'd hate to take a wild guess and have it be completely wrong. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Neoadjuvant is usually your only chemo... But as we all learn each of us is unique. I Had Chemo and surgery and more chemo and herceptin and radiation... Talk with your oncologist.... And know that it is good to have a plan, but also the plan may need to be changed due to your specific...

      more

      Neoadjuvant is usually your only chemo... But as we all learn each of us is unique. I Had Chemo and surgery and more chemo and herceptin and radiation... Talk with your oncologist.... And know that it is good to have a plan, but also the plan may need to be changed due to your specific problems with cancer or treatment.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Are you able to use your arm normally after an auxillary node dissection? Does it affect day to day life?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Jayme, I had a lot of limited mobility in my right arm. I tried doing exercises at home to improve this but in the end I decided to go to a Physical Therapist. I've been seeing her for 2 months now and she has helped my tremendously!!! Before..I couldn't take my shirt off by myself. But now, I...

      more

      Hi Jayme, I had a lot of limited mobility in my right arm. I tried doing exercises at home to improve this but in the end I decided to go to a Physical Therapist. I've been seeing her for 2 months now and she has helped my tremendously!!! Before..I couldn't take my shirt off by myself. But now, I can...plus reach places I couldn't before. if you decide to go to one....I highly suggest someone that is experienced with working with women who've had mastectomies and specialize in soft tissue massage as well. She not only makes me do exercises.....she begins with doing massage in my restricted area. It's been a life saver for me since I'll be going back to work on the 4th of June. Hugs Jayme.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had an auxiliary node dissection about 2 months ago. I was told to gradually stretch my arm with wall walks and not to lift anything over 10 pounds. Now I have pretty good mobility, but was told by a PT to stretch my arm more before I have radiation therapy (I'm in chemo therapy now). I do have...

      more

      I had an auxiliary node dissection about 2 months ago. I was told to gradually stretch my arm with wall walks and not to lift anything over 10 pounds. Now I have pretty good mobility, but was told by a PT to stretch my arm more before I have radiation therapy (I'm in chemo therapy now). I do have numbness in my armpit and back of my arm & am at risk for infection because of the lymph node removal & shouldn't have my blood pressure or blood drawn on that side forever. Hope this helps.

      1 comment
  • blair greiner Profile

    Are hot flashes a side effect of taxol?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Oh I am going to take a wild stab at this...YES, YES, YES! I am SOOOOO sick of sweating, arrrgh! I am sitting in front of my trusty little fan, with my trusty paper towel in my hip pocket. I swear I could melt a glacier in the middle of an Antarctic winter.

      Drip, drip, Sharon

      2 comments
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I don't know what taxol is but this darn tamoxifen is causing me to almost burst into flames! Sharon, I need to borrow that paper towel!

      Comment

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