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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

    Does radiation always work for getting rid of the breast cancer? If not, instead of a mastectomy, can hormone therapy be prescribed?

    Asked by anonymous

    about 5 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It truly depends on the type of breast cancer you have, how advanced it is, and what grade you have, etc. Treatment is not something you mess with because you don't want to have one of the procedures done. Ultimately, it is your choice whether to have complete treatment done or not but you may...

      more

      It truly depends on the type of breast cancer you have, how advanced it is, and what grade you have, etc. Treatment is not something you mess with because you don't want to have one of the procedures done. Ultimately, it is your choice whether to have complete treatment done or not but you may be jeopardizing your long term existence. Nothing in the treatment of breast cancer is a guarantee you get rid of it. It is pretty much you do everything you can to get rid of it, hopefully. Recurrence can happen even in the best of circumstances. We, who have had breast cancer, live with that fear every day. You are gambling with your very life. Breast cancer is very sneaky and would love nothing more than to take over because you want to skip a procedure. Please follow your oncologist's treatment plan. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      In almost all cases, surgery is done for breast cancer. Many times there is a choice between lumpectomy or mastectomy. Radiation is done after lumpectomy, and sometimes with mastectomy. Reconstruction can usually be done after surgery. Hormone therapy is used If hormone positive to help treat...

      more

      In almost all cases, surgery is done for breast cancer. Many times there is a choice between lumpectomy or mastectomy. Radiation is done after lumpectomy, and sometimes with mastectomy. Reconstruction can usually be done after surgery. Hormone therapy is used If hormone positive to help treat breast cancer, and to help prevent recurrence and new cancers. These are just some of the treatments available, and they are used in combination. Unless bc is inoperable, or very advanced, radiation and hormone therapy would not be used alone, instead of surgery.

      Comment
  • Dezeray Paris Profile

    leg cramps and knee pain on tamoxifen badly. how do I get rid of them?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    about 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      A daily dose of Advil and walking it out. Movement helps with circulation and eases the joint and bone pain. Icy hot also helps until the hot flashes kicks in then too much heat.

      2 comments
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Take the med in the morning Laurie, you should sleep better. Water and keep moving. You should start to feel better. For me, it hurt more the first month. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • Cheryl Wornham Profile

    Are there any side effects with radiation?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Cheryl, I haven't experienced radiation yet but that's part of my treatment plan. I had chemo first, now I'm preparing for my mastectomy, with 6 1/2 weeks of radiation following after I heal from surgery. I have spoken to several people that have been through it and read a great deal. Most of...

      more

      Hi Cheryl, I haven't experienced radiation yet but that's part of my treatment plan. I had chemo first, now I'm preparing for my mastectomy, with 6 1/2 weeks of radiation following after I heal from surgery. I have spoken to several people that have been through it and read a great deal. Most of what I've learned about the common side effects are fatigue, some skin irritation and redness (similar to a sunburn), and perhaps some tenderness. The side effects are supposed to be a lot milder compared to chemo. :)

      3 comments
    • MARTY THOMAS Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Cheryl. Every person is different. I had chemotherapy, followed by seven weeks of radiation, followed by one year of Herceptin infusion. Unfortunately, I did burn toward the end of the therapy. The doctor cut short my therapy by a few days and gave me some cream. It wasn't very pleasant...

      more

      Hi Cheryl. Every person is different. I had chemotherapy, followed by seven weeks of radiation, followed by one year of Herceptin infusion. Unfortunately, I did burn toward the end of the therapy. The doctor cut short my therapy by a few days and gave me some cream. It wasn't very pleasant but the pain goes away and so does the cancer! Good luck.

      2 comments
  • Eva McQuade-Lopez Profile

    Mom diagnosed with Stage2 IDC. MRI shows nothing in lymph nodes or other breast. Thank God. Chemo will begin on Dec1. HER2 is + and estrogen is 100%. Oncologist said two drugs to target HER2 - herceptin and perjeta. I am terrified. She's doing amazing.

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It isn't an easy but doable. Focus on your mom let her now she is amazing and focus on the positives. There is plenty of negative energy around cancer treatment.

      Comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      The two drugs will turn the cancer growth off. Herceptin makes treatment drag since it is given over a longer period of time. It had no life interrupting side effects for me. I wish your mom a stubborn and positive attitude as she works her way to health.

      Keep her stress free and positive....

      more

      The two drugs will turn the cancer growth off. Herceptin makes treatment drag since it is given over a longer period of time. It had no life interrupting side effects for me. I wish your mom a stubborn and positive attitude as she works her way to health.

      Keep her stress free and positive. It's a year that she won't be fond of but she will also learn to forget it once all is experienced.

      Comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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