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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    i just discovered a lump in my right breast couple of days back.it kinda hurts. i want to go see a doctor soon but do not have insurance so i am hesitating about it. Can you suggest me any place to go for free treatment. i live in dallas, texas

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Get an appointment with a gynecologist. At most, it will be an office call, you can probably pay off in installments. If they refer you to have a mammogram, the office will probably have information about a free or low cost mammogram. When you call for the appointment, tell the appointment...

      more

      Get an appointment with a gynecologist. At most, it will be an office call, you can probably pay off in installments. If they refer you to have a mammogram, the office will probably have information about a free or low cost mammogram. When you call for the appointment, tell the appointment person of your situation. You won't be the first one she had probably talked to. Be up front because some offices may refer you to a place that might see you for free. I think you can also get low cost women's care from Planned Parenthood. That is primarily what they are there for. Some states have their own health plans. Please don't just ignore this because you have no health insurance. I think part of Obamacare are free or low cost mammograms. Somebody will probably give more definite information. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Yes, do not ignore it. There is help out there. Dept of human services. Usually referred to as 'the free clinic'. Contact any cancer organization. They can point you in the right direction. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I just got my onco type DX result back. My score is 10! The one twist is, I has a micro spot of cancer in my 1 lymph node. Chemo or no chemo? See my oncologist tomorrow. Any advice?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Oy, that's a tough one. I've had BC twice, 11 years apart. The first time was a mastectomy and rads, no chemo. The second one, last year, was a mastectomy and chemo. My onco DX was very high so chemo was a no-brainer. However, my nodes were all negative.
      Your onc will give you the best...

      more

      Oy, that's a tough one. I've had BC twice, 11 years apart. The first time was a mastectomy and rads, no chemo. The second one, last year, was a mastectomy and chemo. My onco DX was very high so chemo was a no-brainer. However, my nodes were all negative.
      Your onc will give you the best advice. if you feel at all uncomfortable with that advice, or you want a second pair of eyes, get another opinion.
      I went for aggressive treatment both times. For example, the first time I was told I could get by with a lumpectomy. I went for the mastectomy. The first time, after the mastectomy, they found the cancer was invasive rather than DCIS. Stage 1B. That's why I had the rads.
      The second time It ended up not being as bad as they thought, but I didn't care if they went the extra mile. What I can tell you is getting BC twice is very scary. If there was anything that could be done to decrease my hances of a recurrence, I wanted it done -- especially the second time.
      Best of luck to you!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I did not have an onco DX and also had a micro amount of cancer in one lymph node. IN MY CASE (this is NOT saying you would have the same thing) it didn't matter what my onco DX would have been as I was slated for chemo due to size of the tumor 2.2cm. There is a lot that goes into treatment...

      more

      I did not have an onco DX and also had a micro amount of cancer in one lymph node. IN MY CASE (this is NOT saying you would have the same thing) it didn't matter what my onco DX would have been as I was slated for chemo due to size of the tumor 2.2cm. There is a lot that goes into treatment plans for each individual woman. Size, grade, stage, age, all factors in. Just as Marianne says.... you oncologist will give you the best advice. If you are still unsure, you can always get a second opinion. My husband and I, and my best friend sat down with the oncologist and went through a computer program for early breast cancer http://www.adjuvantonline.com/index.jsp that is available which shows you odds depending on treatment for your particular cancer. It helped to make a decision much easier. I chose a mastectomy and then had 4 rounds of AC and 5 years of Femara. It gave me the best odds. I thought I was extremely lucky to escape with only 4 rounds of chemo. I was post menopausal and was diagnosed with IDC stage 2-A initially but went to a B when the micro amount of cancer was found in the node. Good luck to you. I am thankful there is much to be done for us facing this scary disease. Take care, and God's blessings, Sharon

      Comment
  • kim sosa Profile

    My throat is sore when I swallow. Could this be due to the AC Chemo or could I just have a sore throat?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Kim,
      It is difficult to say what your sore throat is due to a side effect of the AC or a cold. In this area pollen has been really bad this year, and I hear of sore throats being caused from allergies. Are you running a fever? If so, call your oncologist as soon as you can. Fever and...

      more

      Hi Kim,
      It is difficult to say what your sore throat is due to a side effect of the AC or a cold. In this area pollen has been really bad this year, and I hear of sore throats being caused from allergies. Are you running a fever? If so, call your oncologist as soon as you can. Fever and chemotherapy is not good as your immune system is compromised. Otherwise let the office know what is going on as they might want to check you. Tea and honey helps as do warm saltwater rinses. Hang in there, Kim. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had a lot of trouble with my mouth on the AC - sores, sore throat, canker sores. Ugh. I also had neulasta after my treatments which made everything hurt, but the aches always started in my throat! Check if your doc can swab or examine the throat to be sure.

      Comment
  • kim sosa Profile

    Just finished 4 cycles of AC now starting my last 4 cycles of Taxol. What should I expect? AC was easy for me no real side effects hoping for the same on my end of chemo with taxol. Half way done then surgery & reconstruction! yayyyyy

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I've only had one dose of Taxol. It was easier. But for me, for about three days nonstop, I had bad menstral-like cramps. I could not find much relief. When this was done, it was replaced with joint pain. Tomorrow will be a week past the Taxol.

      Comment
    • maria aiello Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I hope I have the same luck as u ladies!!! You give me hope. Had 1st round of a/c today. SE were limited to headache heartburn and dry mouth. Did any of you girls lose facial hair???

      Comment

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