loading... close

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

    If the chemotherapy you are doing is making you really sick is it worth it to continue?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Adrienne private Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      thanks to a horrible 6 month chemo treatment ( I even ended up in hospital twice) my 1 tumor was GONE, my largest tumor shrank greatly, and the tumor on my lymph node shrank too. So, I say YES it is worth it. Chemo is rough, but was well worth it for me. It made my mastectomy easier and...

      more

      thanks to a horrible 6 month chemo treatment ( I even ended up in hospital twice) my 1 tumor was GONE, my largest tumor shrank greatly, and the tumor on my lymph node shrank too. So, I say YES it is worth it. Chemo is rough, but was well worth it for me. It made my mastectomy easier and shortened my radiation from 35 treatments to 28 treatments due to the tumor shrinkage.

      Comment
    • R. SUTHERLAND Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Absolutely!!!!

      Comment
  • norma marr Profile

    Why do you need radiation after having chemo, double mastectomies and reconstruction?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Norma,
      I had very minimal treatment.... meaning a mastectomy, only 4 rounds of AC, and 5 years of hormone therapy. My case went before a --tumor board-- to be discussed so I had the benefit of a bunch of opinions. They all came to the aggreement about my treatment. I had IDC 2B 1 micro pos....

      more

      Norma,
      I had very minimal treatment.... meaning a mastectomy, only 4 rounds of AC, and 5 years of hormone therapy. My case went before a --tumor board-- to be discussed so I had the benefit of a bunch of opinions. They all came to the aggreement about my treatment. I had IDC 2B 1 micro pos. lymph node. My oncologist had just returned from a breast cancer conference. They presented a completion of a study where my type/stage/grade of breast cancer only had a 1% improvement with 8 -10 rounds of Taxol. My onc. said for that, it was not worth what it would do to my body and my not even give me 1%. It made sense to me. This was 5 years ago so whether this still stands true, I don't know. So far, so good. Our treatments are all tailored to the individual, their types of cancers.... and all the testing that goes with it. I think age plays a big factor in it too. I would hope money isn't one of the deciding factors in our treatments..... meaning on the doctor's side.
      Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • dorothy harder Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      This is a really good question. I had the same one and was directed to the radiologist from my oncologist. He told me it was a good idea due to my stage. Even though I wonder if it was that really he wanted a piece of the insurance pie, I'm glad I got the 28 treatments because I know I did...

      more

      This is a really good question. I had the same one and was directed to the radiologist from my oncologist. He told me it was a good idea due to my stage. Even though I wonder if it was that really he wanted a piece of the insurance pie, I'm glad I got the 28 treatments because I know I did what the recommended treatment was to insure the cancer may not come back. If it does, then I don't have regrets I did what was recommended. What I did learn is all these docs don't always agree on treatment options.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My mom opt for hormone therapy vs removal of lymph nodes. She is 71 and Stage 2(1.7cm x 1.5cm left breast), hormone receptor positive (ER and/or PR ), lymph node positive and HER2 negative (HER2-). Is she making a mistake?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • elma p. Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      My mom had a similar situation and the doctors didn't even give her the choice. She is 83 and this is her second mastectomy...the first one was 5 years ago. The surgeon didn't think she could withstand the lymph node removal that they would have done on a younger woman. Neither are they doing...

      more

      My mom had a similar situation and the doctors didn't even give her the choice. She is 83 and this is her second mastectomy...the first one was 5 years ago. The surgeon didn't think she could withstand the lymph node removal that they would have done on a younger woman. Neither are they doing radiation. She is on anastrozle now. And that is all the treatment planned. It is good of you to be there for her during all this. Good luck.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      My neighbor opted for no treatment except hormone therapy. It really depends on the type of cancer. So far, two years later, my neighbor is doing ok. She is older than your Mom. Doctors are criticised for not being as aggressive with treatment for older women. The removal of all of her...

      more

      My neighbor opted for no treatment except hormone therapy. It really depends on the type of cancer. So far, two years later, my neighbor is doing ok. She is older than your Mom. Doctors are criticised for not being as aggressive with treatment for older women. The removal of all of her lymph nodes, is pretty harsh and can leave her with life long lymphadema.....not the way I would want to spend my life. I think your Mom made a good and right decision for herself. I had one positive lymph node ane the surgeon told me I had an 8% chance of other nodes. I too, had the same ER, PR, status as your mom. After a mastectomy and chemo, I took hormone therapy for five years. I just had my 6th year check up today, cancer free. sometimes cancer comes back no matter what you do. I think your Mom will be ok because it is her decision. Hug Mom and tell her you love her. Encourage her to keep up with her check ups. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Lori S Profile

    Did anyone ever have an allergic reaction to Tamoxifen? I don't want to blame it yet, but I'm about 3 weeks into taking it and I am noticing a rash starting on my neck.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I am hoping one of the side effects is weight loss!,,

      2 comments
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Try a benedryl it helps but make me sleepy. Call your doctor or even an on call nurse might have a suggestion.

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 3

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

spread the word