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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

  • Francine Williams Profile

    Is it ok to drink liquor while taking Chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2006

      Hi Francine I will make this response very short. No No and No!!!!! You can drink plenty of WATER!! Your health should be your #1 priority while going through your treatment. You can also ask your oncologist his/her opinion. I would love to hear there response .
      Love and Blessings
      Your Sister...

      more

      Hi Francine I will make this response very short. No No and No!!!!! You can drink plenty of WATER!! Your health should be your #1 priority while going through your treatment. You can also ask your oncologist his/her opinion. I would love to hear there response .
      Love and Blessings
      Your Sister of Hope

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      My oncologist and nurse said everything in moderation. I don't drink much, but when I was feeling ok this summer, I occasionally had a glass of wine. Well, really a half glass... You should check with your docs though

      Comment
  • Karen G Profile

    For those of you who just had their 2nd AC treatment, how does it compare to the first? I am going in for mine on Thursday.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Wendy DeLong Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Besides hair starting to come out.... For me the accumulative effects of the treatments got harder each time. I was wiped out, and had really bad flu like symptoms... & weakness. Everyone is different. I'm done with my chemo now and feel better everyday. My hair is couple inches long and I'm...

      more

      Besides hair starting to come out.... For me the accumulative effects of the treatments got harder each time. I was wiped out, and had really bad flu like symptoms... & weakness. Everyone is different. I'm done with my chemo now and feel better everyday. My hair is couple inches long and I'm currently working on filling my expanders in prep for implants. This has been one of the hardest things i've ever done but so worth it. I wish you and everyone in the fight the best!!!!

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Add Taxotere, and we had the same treatment. I don't think it makes any difference when it comes to the side effects -- a lot of them are due to the Adriamycin.

      My hair started to fall out about 3 weeks into the treatment course. I had it shaved off before I looked like I was molting! My...

      more

      Add Taxotere, and we had the same treatment. I don't think it makes any difference when it comes to the side effects -- a lot of them are due to the Adriamycin.

      My hair started to fall out about 3 weeks into the treatment course. I had it shaved off before I looked like I was molting! My scalp also really hurt and shaving my hair eliminated the pain.

      The effects of this stuff are cumulative. I peaked after the 4th treatment -- it didn't really get any worse after that. Be ready to feel awful -- it's par for the course. Be sure to ask your doctors for medications to treat ALL of your side effects. I had really good anti-nausea, pain, and thrush medicines. Yep, I got thrush. If you do, get on top of it right away.

      Stay in touch -- we're all here to help you through it!

      Comment
  • Susie Que Profile

    Is there anything that helps with neulasta? It gives me the most excruciating headache.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Probably ibuprofen is fine but definitely ask your onc

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Susie, if you haven't reported this to your Onc. I would be doing it. I didn't have that kind of side effect but we are all so different. Hang in there and talk to your doctor. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Why am I getting sharp pains in my feet two months out of chemo? Is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Did you have taxol? That caused me some bad body aches especially in my legs and feet. Mine all subsided but I did hear about pain sometimes lasting for a while after treatment.

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I've been finished with chemo since March 15 and I still have some joint pain, especially in my hips and knees. I received Taxotere, which didn't treat me very nicely during my entire course of chemo. So I'm not surprised I'm having these lingering effects. My hands and feet also give me...

      more

      I've been finished with chemo since March 15 and I still have some joint pain, especially in my hips and knees. I received Taxotere, which didn't treat me very nicely during my entire course of chemo. So I'm not surprised I'm having these lingering effects. My hands and feet also give me occasional trouble, with swelling and joint pain.
      I'm told this is fairly typical and that the ship will right itself after about 6 months. Your body has essentially been poisoned and traumatized for quite a while -- give it a little bit of time to get over the experience. Best of luck!

      2 comments

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