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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

  • Virginia Warren Profile

    Does chemo always make people lose their hair. What determines whether or not you lose it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Better to be bald & alive than dead with a full head of hair! Your gonna make it through all this. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Virginia,
      Unfortunately, hair loss is usually part of the deal when you are treated with chemotherapy associated with treating breast cancer. You will get some stories here and there from women like Julie whose hair has just thinned. There is a "Cold Cap" that is available that might help in...

      more

      Virginia,
      Unfortunately, hair loss is usually part of the deal when you are treated with chemotherapy associated with treating breast cancer. You will get some stories here and there from women like Julie whose hair has just thinned. There is a "Cold Cap" that is available that might help in retaining your hair but be sure you talk to your oncologist about it. Do not let vanity get in the way of saving your life. Those of us who have been through chemotherapy have been able to cope with it.... you have bigger fish to fry dealing with breast cancer. Hang in there and don't let breast cancer kill you because of your hair. It grows back. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Alglen Thelex Garay Profile

    Has anyone experienced coughing (w/o phlegm), itchy throat and changed voice (husky) after chemo? What is your advise about it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 8 years 3 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had a few colds throughout the 3 months but a few weeks after my last treatment I completely lost my voice! Worst case of laryngitis...but no other cold symptoms. It was strange but I heard it was common so I just let it run its course.

      Comment
    • cindy stephenson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      yes, i have been experiencing this. The week after my chemo i had a sore throat, hoarseness, runny nose and cough. Actually, i am still coughing. I am on Taxotere, Carboplatin, and Herceptin. I just called the oncologist to see about something to do for this cough. I have coughed so hard i...

      more

      yes, i have been experiencing this. The week after my chemo i had a sore throat, hoarseness, runny nose and cough. Actually, i am still coughing. I am on Taxotere, Carboplatin, and Herceptin. I just called the oncologist to see about something to do for this cough. I have coughed so hard i think i injured my right lung. i also have allergies and asthma which makes things even more complicated.

      Comment
  • Brenda  Hawkins  Profile

    Stage 2, invasive ductal and lobule cancer, centinal node positive, 16 out of 16 axillary nodes negative, triple positive. Treatment??

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Brenda, there are lots of online sites you can access to see what the treatment is. I had Stage 2B IDC with one positive sentinal node. Did you have a Oncotype DX test? Even if another woman has exactly the same case, there could be microscopic differences that changes your course of...

      more

      Brenda, there are lots of online sites you can access to see what the treatment is. I had Stage 2B IDC with one positive sentinal node. Did you have a Oncotype DX test? Even if another woman has exactly the same case, there could be microscopic differences that changes your course of treatment. Diagnostics have become down to the cell level and beyond. Your treatment will be tailor-made just for you and your type of cancer. If you don't get an answer here, it is just because someone with that type of cancer isn't reading this at the moment. There is another site called Adjuvant Online... you sign-up as a doctor, and have access. It can give you probably more information than you want. I hope somebody checks in here who can give you some personal experience with this type of breast cancer. All of us here have had our own stories of breast cancer and treatment. No matter what, we ALL support each other and we all know the paths we have walked. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If things don't pass the "gut feelings" do not hesitate to get a second opinion... or even a third. Hang in there, gal.

      2 comments
  • Traciann brundage Profile

    You guys would be so proud of me . I told a family member it was mine and my husbands choice on treatment and they could know when I wanted to tell them . I don't really stand up for my self very often so this great . Had to share a success.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Traciann,
      Sometimes breast cancer brings with it some blessings. For you, it has brought out that inner courage that was probably already there. You are already showing you are up for the fight. You are a strong woman, and will win this battle. Good for you, Traciann. You will be ok. ...

      more

      Traciann,
      Sometimes breast cancer brings with it some blessings. For you, it has brought out that inner courage that was probably already there. You are already showing you are up for the fight. You are a strong woman, and will win this battle. Good for you, Traciann. You will be ok. Wishing you more strength and courage! Atta Girl! Blessings, Sharon

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      This is your journey! Share what you want with who you want when you want. It gets easier to share what's going on as your treatment plan is laid out. For me I'm glad I shared what is going on ( once I was ready to) because its been nice to have the support and encouragement and help from them....

      more

      This is your journey! Share what you want with who you want when you want. It gets easier to share what's going on as your treatment plan is laid out. For me I'm glad I shared what is going on ( once I was ready to) because its been nice to have the support and encouragement and help from them. Best of luck! ☺Julie

      Comment

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