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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 was on tamoxifen for five years. My first three cycles were CRAZY HEAVY but doc told me that was normal. However, this month I didn't get it. Has anyone experienced this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      How old are you? Tamoxifen has the effect as when someone is on BCP'S and they have light periods while on the BCP'S once they stop their periods are full blown with cramps. All of a Sudden you get a surge of hormones. If you are in the peri- menopause phase of your life then the irregular...

      more

      How old are you? Tamoxifen has the effect as when someone is on BCP'S and they have light periods while on the BCP'S once they stop their periods are full blown with cramps. All of a Sudden you get a surge of hormones. If you are in the peri- menopause phase of your life then the irregular period maybe just a normal cycle at this time. Talk to your gyn and let them know what is happening with your cycle they can do hormone blood levels and endometrial biopsies to make sure nothing else is going on. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing. Take care and congratulations on completing 5 years of tamoxifen.

      1 comment
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Not from personal experience, but I do know that tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker, so it stops your body from absorbing estrogen - our female hormone. It makes perfect sense that you didn't have a cycle this time. I am on a similar med called Femara. I don't have a uterus anymore though, so...

      more

      Not from personal experience, but I do know that tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker, so it stops your body from absorbing estrogen - our female hormone. It makes perfect sense that you didn't have a cycle this time. I am on a similar med called Femara. I don't have a uterus anymore though, so ... all I got to do is experience the hot flashes from this type of treatment.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I had a lumpectomy recently it was not cancerous, atypical cells and papillomas. the doctor has suggested that i get the genetic testing done for the gene. Is it really worth doing and does this make your insurance see things as a preexisting condition?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Anything makes them see a preexisting condition.

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Insurance should cover it, as federal law requires insurance company to pay for all things related to breast cancer treatment, including reconstruction. Definitely check with your insurance company.
      I had the test and it was positive -- I have the BRCA2 mutation. I'm very glad I had it done...

      more

      Insurance should cover it, as federal law requires insurance company to pay for all things related to breast cancer treatment, including reconstruction. Definitely check with your insurance company.
      I had the test and it was positive -- I have the BRCA2 mutation. I'm very glad I had it done because my sister was then tested and she has it, too. She's not had cancer but now she can take precautions. It will also help me with my kids -- testing, vigilance, that sort of thing.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone had problems with tamoxifen? I am extremely nauseous and very tired! 5 more years of this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I would always check in with your oncologist when you are having side effects that are impacting your life as it is with you. I have heard several of the women on this site having similar side effects. Sometimes these can get better over time but it is best to check.
      Good luck to you, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was feeling sick for about a week or so but that went away. I take my tamoxifen with my breakfast, try taking it with food, it might help. After 3 months I still get a bit tired during the day. All the other side effects seem to have subsided so try and stick it out it will get better. This...

      more

      I was feeling sick for about a week or so but that went away. I take my tamoxifen with my breakfast, try taking it with food, it might help. After 3 months I still get a bit tired during the day. All the other side effects seem to have subsided so try and stick it out it will get better. This drug is keeping people like us alive and we are lucky to have it. Good luck.

      Comment
  • ashley ritz Profile

    What does it mean when breast cancer is found in chest wall?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Hi Ashley, I had cancer in my chest wall as well. It just means that the cancer has gone from the breast into the connecting wall of the chest. As Sharon said....make sure you get your Oncologist or surgeon to explain what all this entails. Hugs, Diana

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      My guess would be the breast cancer is in the breast tissue closest and connecting to the chest itself. I would contact your radiologist, surgeon, or oncologists to explain and show you in your mammogram or other diagnostic imaging where this tumor is located.
      They can then answer any...

      more

      My guess would be the breast cancer is in the breast tissue closest and connecting to the chest itself. I would contact your radiologist, surgeon, or oncologists to explain and show you in your mammogram or other diagnostic imaging where this tumor is located.
      They can then answer any questions you would have about treatment. It is a great idea to bring in a relative, or good friend to take notes so you can concentrate on getting answers to your questions. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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