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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

    Do i have to go through both chemo and radiation? What if if i don't want to do either one? Is there a such thing as just to do a lumpectomy and that should be it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,
      Nobody wants to go through the treatment for breast cancer. It is lousy.... to say the least. I think you are still going through the shock of discovery and you want to not have to face the prospect of what is ahead of you. This is completely understandable. As far as your...

      more

      Anonymous,
      Nobody wants to go through the treatment for breast cancer. It is lousy.... to say the least. I think you are still going through the shock of discovery and you want to not have to face the prospect of what is ahead of you. This is completely understandable. As far as your treatment goes, it all depends on many factors yet to be found. No two treatment plans are the same. It really has to do with the type of breast cancer, stage, grade, ER, PR, oncoDX, your age, etc. Each woman's cancer is different as will be the treatment course. We would all wished the same... a little surgery and get on with your life. What you are going to find are options for the best way of treating this disease. If, after you hear the treatment plan, you are not satisfied, get a second opinion. We all go through the shock of hearing this terrifying diagnosis. Breast cancer is a formidable opponent. It is nothing to be trivialized. You want to beat this thing and never have to face it again in your life. Reoccurrences happen.... and that is why you want to kick breast cancer in the butt right now while you have the best chance. We are all here for you with our support, our experiences, and our advice. Hang in there... and take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Diane Washington Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Yes it is necessary its not a great thought. But living is it also give a greater chance of living and cancer not returning. They base treatment on what stage you come in with. Not as the way you end up. I felt the Same i was fighting and kicking the whole process but chemo. Behind now 28...

      more

      Yes it is necessary its not a great thought. But living is it also give a greater chance of living and cancer not returning. They base treatment on what stage you come in with. Not as the way you end up. I felt the Same i was fighting and kicking the whole process but chemo. Behind now 28 treatments of radiation left I have taken two , but I am alive Lumpectomy are great but the steps chemotherapy, radiation is what kills all that that surgery don't get.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've started my 6 months of chemo in May...yesterday was my 3rd treatment, I go every 3wks....how long after chemo does surgery happen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same treatment plan as Laura and my surgeon operated 3 weeks after my last treatment. But there were other women with me at the center who had different plans. I suggest the same as the other women here to ask your doctors. Then you can have a mental map of when each part of your...

      more

      I had the same treatment plan as Laura and my surgeon operated 3 weeks after my last treatment. But there were other women with me at the center who had different plans. I suggest the same as the other women here to ask your doctors. Then you can have a mental map of when each part of your treatment will occur. tc jayme

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I am kind of surprised your oncologist hasn't talked to you about your treatment plan by this time. I would contact the office and have them lay out your schedule for you so you know what will be happening... and when. Every treatment is different depending on the type of breast cancer, stage,...

      more

      I am kind of surprised your oncologist hasn't talked to you about your treatment plan by this time. I would contact the office and have them lay out your schedule for you so you know what will be happening... and when. Every treatment is different depending on the type of breast cancer, stage, etc. That is the great thing about breast cancer treatment.... it is specific to your individual case. Call the office today. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Mary Denoble Profile

    Two T/C infusions, used same vein each time. Should another vein be used for 3 and 4 ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      It can not be done in your lymph node arm! I have a port, so in no help otherwise. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I think so. I had a bad burn from a Taxotere infusion and shudder to think what it was doing to the inside of my vein. I think it's always a good idea to rotate arms and veins if possible.

      Comment
  • Sharaya Staley Profile

    How long after mastectomy can you get reconstruction done?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • june grubbs Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2006

      I had a bilateral masectomy in May, got expandersat that time, but won't get implants until Feb. I had massive amounts of sernoma fluid for 10 weeks--600 to 700 ml. For 10 weeks. Then I got an infection that required IV meds 7 weeks. One expander came loose and had to be redone in August. I...

      more

      I had a bilateral masectomy in May, got expandersat that time, but won't get implants until Feb. I had massive amounts of sernoma fluid for 10 weeks--600 to 700 ml. For 10 weeks. Then I got an infection that required IV meds 7 weeks. One expander came loose and had to be redone in August. I am finally healing and look good.

      Comment
    • Terri Way Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I had a tissue expander placed at the same time as my mastectomy, and the slowly filled it starting just three weeks later. I started chemo after the mastectomy, so I have to wait 6-8 weeks after chemo is finished. I am sure each doctor has their own preferences for a timeline.

      Comment

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