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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

  • Mary G Profile

    Starting chemo tomorrow. 4 rounds A/C then 4 rounds Taxol. Thankfully PET/CT normal. Any advice or tips for this first go around? I sm so thankful to have found you ladies! I know I will be here frequently asking for your valued advice.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2013
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I found out right before my last two rounds that lemon drops will help cut the taste. I used them on the last two and wished I had known that before. I put one in my mouth as she was cleaning my port area. Drink as much water as you can, I liked a little lemon in it. Dress comfortable and relax....

      more

      I found out right before my last two rounds that lemon drops will help cut the taste. I used them on the last two and wished I had known that before. I put one in my mouth as she was cleaning my port area. Drink as much water as you can, I liked a little lemon in it. Dress comfortable and relax. You will do fine. Make friends with the nurses and the others plugged in around you. It's certainly not fun, but it is doable. Keep as positive an attitude as you can. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

      1 comment
    • Lisa G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      1st thing is wear your big girl panties..lol treatment usually last round 5-6 hrs..wear something comfortable and maybe short sleeved for easy access to your port. Your nurses will make you as comfortable as possible..they usually provide you with some snacks but maybe pack something to eat. When...

      more

      1st thing is wear your big girl panties..lol treatment usually last round 5-6 hrs..wear something comfortable and maybe short sleeved for easy access to your port. Your nurses will make you as comfortable as possible..they usually provide you with some snacks but maybe pack something to eat. When you get there, they will check you in and do all the usual stuff..weight, BP etc..What ends up putting you behind schedule is waiting for your labs to come back..You will quickly learn the ropes..we will be here for you..

      Comment
  • Diane Lewey Profile

    What is the percentage of breast cancer recurrence for women who are treated with tamoxifen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 1 answer
    • Amanda Metivier Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Recurrence rates differ depending upon stage. Also depending upon adjunct therapy such as surgery, radiation and chemo.

      1 comment
  • anonymous Profile

    Dr wants Chemo 1st, maste, rad, 1yr later recon surgery. If my insurance runs out Jan 2015 then I won't be able to do recon. People are doing maste and recon at the same time. Wondering when chemo and rad takes place. Is it before or after the surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Mary Chase Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Now, with the affordable care act you can still get coverage and your insurance has to cover you even with a pre-existing condition. I've been told all along that insurance will cover anything related to breast cancer even if something like reconstruction is done years later.

      Comment
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It is amazing how long it all takes! Meet with your team and explain insurance and find out what your timeline will be. Also remember there may delays due to possible problems.... Chemo might not work, or be delayed due to side effects, margins for surgery may take second surgery, ......

      more

      It is amazing how long it all takes! Meet with your team and explain insurance and find out what your timeline will be. Also remember there may delays due to possible problems.... Chemo might not work, or be delayed due to side effects, margins for surgery may take second surgery, ... None of that may happen, but if does will slow down timeline..... Is there a way to extend insurance so you don't have to worry about any of that?

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    i had a mammogram 9/22/15 and they found a lump they sent me to have a biopsy 10/01/15 its Carcinoma. The dimensions are 2.3/2/1.7 cent. The oncologist is supposed to call me today to make an appointment. What should I expect to happen?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Arrrgh.... Do not FREAK OUT! My found cancer was also a similar size. Take someone with you to your oncologist's appointment. Have THEM take notes. That appointment your doctor will talk about further testing you need to have done. Testing could consist of gallons of blood, a PET scan, CT...

      more

      Arrrgh.... Do not FREAK OUT! My found cancer was also a similar size. Take someone with you to your oncologist's appointment. Have THEM take notes. That appointment your doctor will talk about further testing you need to have done. Testing could consist of gallons of blood, a PET scan, CT SCAN, MRI, Bone Scan, any or all of these, very common to have. You will be given the type of breast cancer, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma is the most common. You will be given the approximate stage 0-4. Yours is probably a preliminary stage of 2-A or B. After your surgery, your stage could change. You will discuss your options for treatment which COULD consist of a choice between lumpectomy or mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and possibly radiation. This is not saying you will have all of these but they are all possibilities. This is an overwhelming time and will be until you get your final treatment plan and know how you will proceed. Thank goodness your cancer was found at this stage. Breast cancer is NOT a death sentence! Lots of treatments for various types of breast cancer. Hang in there and be sure you take a friend, spouse of relative with you to ALL of your appointments. I would also get a 3 ring binder and request copies of all of your tests you have done. Tape cards from all the offices you visit on the inside cover of the binder. Extra paper for notes taken. Jot down any questions you want to take to the various offices you visit. Have a copy of any drugs you take or allergies you have. Have extra copies to give all the offices you visit. They WILL appreciate that and saves a lot of talk time. Hang in there, you WILL make it. DON'T go on the internet and read stuff.... it will terrify you and it doesn't have anything to do with YOUR cancer. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I agree with everything Sharon said. I used a breast patient navigator since I had no family in the town I was living in and she used to work at the Oncology Clinic so asked some of my questions for me (ones I hadn't thought of) and was a God-send.

      Comment

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