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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

  • Lou Cam Profile

    I am scared about having chemo. Has anyone opted for surgery & radiation alone? I am supposed to have chemo after surgery, & then radiation? Shouldn't I get onco x score from biopsy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2013
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      It's understandable to be scared about chemo. For me, it was tough, but wasn't as bad as I anticipated it to be. Talk to your oncologist and together you will make the best decision for you. Please know if you choose to do it, we will support you along the way. Keep the questions coming. We...

      more

      It's understandable to be scared about chemo. For me, it was tough, but wasn't as bad as I anticipated it to be. Talk to your oncologist and together you will make the best decision for you. Please know if you choose to do it, we will support you along the way. Keep the questions coming. We care about you!

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Chemo is not a picnic but very doable. I worked through my treatment.

      1 comment
  • frances pensato Profile

    I am on tomoxifin . I have my muscles and joints bothering me. When does this stop?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Muscle and joint pain is one of the side effects of tamoxifen for me it peeked between 6-8 months after starting tamoxifen being the worse or most intense of the side effects then it balanced out maybe I just got use to it. It is more tolerable with a daily dose of Advil

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I have been on it for six weeks and the worst thing for me is hot flashes. Oh Lordy!

      4 comments
  • Francoise  Armand Profile

    Is chemotherapy always part of breast cancer treatment??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No chemo is not always used. I had a bilateral mastectomy so I didn't have to have radiation and when it came to chemo it was really my choice. I chose not to have it because the oncologist advised me that the small amount of benefit I would get from the chemo would not justify the effects of the...

      more

      No chemo is not always used. I had a bilateral mastectomy so I didn't have to have radiation and when it came to chemo it was really my choice. I chose not to have it because the oncologist advised me that the small amount of benefit I would get from the chemo would not justify the effects of the chemo. I consider myself to be very lucky. I only have the rest of my reconstruction and 5 years of hormone treatment to go through. I hope I have made the right decision, only time will tell.

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      No not always. It depends on so many different things. Cancer treatment is so specialized now. There are a number of factors involved.

      Comment
  • Patricia Stoop Profile

    Does this numbness ever go away? The numbness along with double mastectomy scars makes me feel like I've been walloped with a 2 x 4.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had my mastectomy six months ago and I would say I have about 90 percent of feeling back so it will get better with time. Good luck

      Comment
    • Debbie Carss Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine was 2010 and I got most feeling back on my right side some spots are still numb. I was told after two years if u don't get it back by then forget it. Not me I beg to defer I do everything I can find to get this back. Good luck never give up.

      Comment

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

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