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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

  • Kate Parsons Profile

    Am 3 weeks out from my last of 4 TC chemos. I cannot believe how unbelievably tired and unwell I feel. How long does this last??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Hi, it took me a month or so to get my energy level back. I found myself getting stronger and stronger every day. I am two years out of chemo, one year out of herceptin. Honestly, I'm just now beginning to feel like myself. Hang in there, it gets better.

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      In a way post chemo was the toughest. So many side effects of chemo lingered when I just wanted to be done with the whole thing. I also had TC and was exhausted at the end of treatment due to being anemic , neuropathy in toes and fingers, swelling in legs and feet. Slowly but surely the side...

      more

      In a way post chemo was the toughest. So many side effects of chemo lingered when I just wanted to be done with the whole thing. I also had TC and was exhausted at the end of treatment due to being anemic , neuropathy in toes and fingers, swelling in legs and feet. Slowly but surely the side effects diminished. You will get better! And then you will look back at all this and life will be amazing! I am also 2 years out from treatment and every day is a gift I cherish. Be gentle with yourself as you are still healing. Soon it will be over and you will feel healthy again.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Would you ladies mind helping out a southern feller? Just diagnosed with stage 2B and I have some questions. Having a (left) mastectomy and axillary removal on March 7 and wondering what to expect as far as recovery pain?

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_2b Patient
    almost 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I'm sorry to hear you joined this group. Everyone is different with their pain tolerance, I had none after my unilateral mastectomy and lymph node dissection. But then I had a PCA pump with Fentanyl going in it the first half day (not something I wanted but it was there none the less). Your...

      more

      I'm sorry to hear you joined this group. Everyone is different with their pain tolerance, I had none after my unilateral mastectomy and lymph node dissection. But then I had a PCA pump with Fentanyl going in it the first half day (not something I wanted but it was there none the less). Your anxiety is not going to help you as stress right now is not your friend. Try and take some deep breaths and relax, I know it's easier said then done but try, OK?

      2 comments
    • Trisha Muller Quinn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      With your burping ... due to feeling nervous you are probably swallowing more air ...

      I have had a double mastectomy with half of my nodes taken , cancerous..
      There no pain as such involved with this surgery .. just feeling happy to know that the cancer is gone .

      I don't know if you'll been...

      more

      With your burping ... due to feeling nervous you are probably swallowing more air ...

      I have had a double mastectomy with half of my nodes taken , cancerous..
      There no pain as such involved with this surgery .. just feeling happy to know that the cancer is gone .

      I don't know if you'll been having any drains ( from the chest drawing fluid away). They make it hard to sleep .

      I found the surgery the easiest with only 1 over night in hosp .

      Think of your self as bit of a Ambassador for other men !! To show them not only women get breast cancer .. but it's the same horrible cancer !!

      I have the attitude of ... What doesn't break us makes as stronger.
      I felt calmer going into surgery as I knew it would prolong my life , so it's the right thing to do !!
      Maybe you need someone to talk to before surgery to calm your fears with issues , of with ......what may happen ??

      But feel comfortable and confident we have all gone through this. And are alive to live , laugh and inform others .........We can have a long happy life after cancer so good luck ..

      3 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Had a good visit with my oncologist yesterday--got lots of questions answered. She mentioned that I would most likely need to take Tamoxifen for 10 years, instead of 5. Anyone else have the same news?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 4 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I asked the same question when I started Letrozole 2 years ago and yes I got the same answer, right now they are finding 10 years is better than 5. I told my RT yeah and when I hit 10 you'll say 20 and I'll be pushing 90 years of age.

      Comment
    • Jen F Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      That's what I was told as well

      Comment
  • Karen Schroeder Profile

    I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer on 9/7. Having a double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery is not scheduled until 10/18. It is not in the lymph nodes now - is 8 weeks a long wait for surgery? Afraid it will spread during the wait.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    about 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • L D  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2004

      It depends on what stage. If it is DCIS (stage 0), then you are probably fine. Did you discuss your concerns with your doctor? I had early stage cancer and waited about 3 weeks before surgery. I had the bilateral mas. and reconstruction done at the same time as well.

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Karen, you should be ok. Have you discussed your concerns with your breast surgeon? Are you going to be receiving chemo or radiation afterwards?

      Comment

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