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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

    How do you Xgeva is working? How long does it take to start working?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    over 7 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I tracked down this information via Breastcancer.org.

      This drug is one of the RANKL inhibitors which blocks the RANKL protein. It limits the activity level of certain bone cells, called osteoclasts, which can cause bone weakening and damage that can happen when breast cancer spreads to the...

      more

      I tracked down this information via Breastcancer.org.

      This drug is one of the RANKL inhibitors which blocks the RANKL protein. It limits the activity level of certain bone cells, called osteoclasts, which can cause bone weakening and damage that can happen when breast cancer spreads to the bone. RANKL inhibitors also can help keep blood calcium levels normal. This is important because bone damage may increase blood calcium. It is probably tracked via blood tests. Usually with drugs, they have to build up in your system for them to start working. Your oncologist will probably be the best person to talk with. Him and your blood levels will be able to give you answers specific to your body. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Lori S Profile

    I know this is off topic, but I'm having heart issues due to chemo? Has anyone ever had a cardiac catherization? I'm very hesitant to say yes to the doctor as it doesn't seem too urgent at this point.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Augh, I am so sorry you are going through all of this. You will be great tomorrow, the cath will go fast. Your leg may be a little sore, but no biggie compared to what you have been through. It seems like your cardiologist is on top of it all, i will be sending you lots of positive vibes! Good...

      more

      Augh, I am so sorry you are going through all of this. You will be great tomorrow, the cath will go fast. Your leg may be a little sore, but no biggie compared to what you have been through. It seems like your cardiologist is on top of it all, i will be sending you lots of positive vibes! Good luck tomorrow, hope you can rest tonight.

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      What kind of heart problems are you having? Pain, shortness of breath, a fast heart beat you feel? Have you had an echocardiagram or an ekg, post chemo? What did they show? I have taken care of many people post catheterization. There can be complications as with anything, but for the most part...

      more

      What kind of heart problems are you having? Pain, shortness of breath, a fast heart beat you feel? Have you had an echocardiagram or an ekg, post chemo? What did they show? I have taken care of many people post catheterization. There can be complications as with anything, but for the most part they are pretty safe. Have you seen a cardiologist?

      Comment
  • Mary Denoble Profile

    Is there a way to prevent weight gain with post menopause hormone suppression therapy ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I agree. Exercise & watch your calorie & fat intake. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Exercise and good eating habits. I get myself motivated by knowing that exercise and a good weight are the best defense for the keeping the cancer from coming back.

      Comment
  • Alison Smith Profile

    Has anyone else had problems with painful sex after chemo? I have tried Replens but hasn't helped.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Alison, I 've used Replens everyday for two years(it's that safe) and a gel lubricant for senistive skin for that intimate time. It may be, you'll need more time for healing depending how far out you're from therapy. I didn't have chemo but was post menopause and the Femara has really done a...

      more

      Hi Alison, I 've used Replens everyday for two years(it's that safe) and a gel lubricant for senistive skin for that intimate time. It may be, you'll need more time for healing depending how far out you're from therapy. I didn't have chemo but was post menopause and the Femara has really done a number on me. My new norm can be uncomfortable but I found Breastcancer.org and it's site on sex and intimacy helpful. Hope you find your new comfort zone. Be persistent and don't give up. ;-D Jo

      4 comments
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Talk to yor gyno and your doctor. My onc kind of blushed but his nurse was a wealth of information. I'm a very traditional woman(wink wink) experiment I know 1 woman who used olive oil. We women who are estrogen have a tough to road in this atea

      Comment

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