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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

  • Michele Anderson Profile

    Is anyone else having itching spells while on Taxol? I am on the dense dose (every 2 weeks). My doctor says it normal but nothing is helping but ice and I can not walk around with ice all day when I am out and about

    Asked by anonymous

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

      I had kind of the same thing except I also had a weird rash on my face and hands. Dr gave me allergy med, steriods and special creams. None helped so he switched from taxol to abraxane. It helped with itch and radh but not totally. Didn't need other meds.

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Taxol was lousy for me in this area. I had what felt like itchy hands and palms and they almost felt burned and swollen. It's just an annoyance!! But this too shall pass....

      Comment
  • Connie Logan Profile

    Ten days after chemo my voice has become raspy and hard to talk. Definitely no cold or sickness. Any answers?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    almost 8 years 3 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      That's so strange... I finished chemo on 3/9 and shortly after - probably about 10 days, come to think of it - I lost my voice!!! It went on for a while too. For a few days it was really gone, but I struggled for a few weeks even with a raspy voice. I also didn't have a cold but I never...

      more

      That's so strange... I finished chemo on 3/9 and shortly after - probably about 10 days, come to think of it - I lost my voice!!! It went on for a while too. For a few days it was really gone, but I struggled for a few weeks even with a raspy voice. I also didn't have a cold but I never connected to chemo! So I have no answers but it did happen to me!

      1 comment
    • Anj Donahue Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Do you have dry mouth/throat at all? I know that made me raspy for sure!

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I was just diagnosed with stage lll and I'm in process of completing all my labs and test . I was told about a cap you can wear after treatment to keep from losing hair. Has any one used this ? If so how was it? Side effects?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I also had my hairdresser friend shave my long hair when it started falling out. I got a synthetic wig and it looked just like my hair. It was light and didn't really bother me.I just wasn't one of those women that could walk around bald, although I give them credit. I hadnt heard much bout the...

      more

      I also had my hairdresser friend shave my long hair when it started falling out. I got a synthetic wig and it looked just like my hair. It was light and didn't really bother me.I just wasn't one of those women that could walk around bald, although I give them credit. I hadnt heard much bout the cold cap. I just think, no matter what you do, certain chemos make you lose hair, just a part of the process.Now almost two years after dx my hair has grown back, still short, but I love it n it is way healthier. You will get through this. Have faith

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Earlier, we had a bit of a discussion about the cold cap. You must ask your oncologist about it as there is some talk about it interferring with the chemotherapy. SInce chemo. attacks fast growing cells, which hair is, the cold cap keep the chemotherapy from reaching the scalp. Your cancer...

      more

      Earlier, we had a bit of a discussion about the cold cap. You must ask your oncologist about it as there is some talk about it interferring with the chemotherapy. SInce chemo. attacks fast growing cells, which hair is, the cold cap keep the chemotherapy from reaching the scalp. Your cancer could hide out in that tissue. Hopefully, some others will come forth with more information about the pluses and minuses of the cold cap. Last work always comes from your oncologist. Remember.... Bald, is beautiful! Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Mary George Profile

    Just diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, left breast and one node. No details about size or grade until next week. Looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Would appreciate any info on length of treatment and surgery choices made by others.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Welcome to the Pink Sister Club.. They are an amazing group. Glad you are reaching out. I had the same exact diagnosis - mastectomy, reconstruction with expander then saline implant, 4 rounds of AC, 2 years Tamoxifen and 5 years of Arimidex. 10 years after my bc diagnosis, I am doing great!...

      more

      Welcome to the Pink Sister Club.. They are an amazing group. Glad you are reaching out. I had the same exact diagnosis - mastectomy, reconstruction with expander then saline implant, 4 rounds of AC, 2 years Tamoxifen and 5 years of Arimidex. 10 years after my bc diagnosis, I am doing great! Thank God! It will be a grueling year... take one day at a time, do things that bring your joy, allow others to do things for you, cry in the shower when you need to and you will get through this! Keep the questions coming! We care about you!!!

      1 comment
    • Lisa Gainey Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Mary! Just take a minute and breathe! There are so many options and treatments available. Your onc will discuss what they feel is the best treatment for you. I have stage 4, and have undergone radiation and currently am undergoing chemo weekly. We refer to it as my "wkly maintenance and...

      more

      Hi Mary! Just take a minute and breathe! There are so many options and treatments available. Your onc will discuss what they feel is the best treatment for you. I have stage 4, and have undergone radiation and currently am undergoing chemo weekly. We refer to it as my "wkly maintenance and tune up". I am not a candidate for surgery yet, but my day will come. Keep a positive outlook and know that there are many of us fighting this together. Keep smiling!

      Comment

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