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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 2 - Standard Treatment & Clinical Trials

Before selecting your treatment plan, you should first understand the difference between standard treatment and clinical trials.

Standard treatments are methods that experts agree are appropriate, accepted and widely used. These standard procedures have proven useful in fighting breast cancer in the past. A clinical trial, on the other hand, is an approved research study that some doctors believe has a strong potential to improve standard treatments. When clinical trials demonstrate better results than the standard, that new treatment becomes the standard. Remember, all our current standards were clinical trials at one time.

If a clinical trial is an option for you, your doctor will explain the possible trade-offs with the trial treatment versus standard treatment. Together with your medical team, you will need to decide what treatment method is the best for you and your health.

Let’s look more closely at the standard treatments your doctors may recommend.

Related Questions

  • Jan Yamada Profile

    I would like to know how to reduce the side effects from hormone blockers.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Mary Foti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I understand your frustrations! I switched from tamoxifen (diagnosed w/stage 1, ER , IDC in Nov. 2010) to arimidex after having a preventive hysterectomy (I am BRCA2 ) in October. Now I have joint pain (particularly in my hips), stiffness and really frequent hot flashes. I feel like I am 82...

      more

      I understand your frustrations! I switched from tamoxifen (diagnosed w/stage 1, ER , IDC in Nov. 2010) to arimidex after having a preventive hysterectomy (I am BRCA2 ) in October. Now I have joint pain (particularly in my hips), stiffness and really frequent hot flashes. I feel like I am 82 instead of 42; however, I much prefer these side effects to having cancer. My oncologist offered to switch medications but I have found that yoga - at least 3 times a week - has helped keep it manageable.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Jan.
      I am on Femara and a quarter of the way into the 5 th year. I would give anything to know how to decrease the hot flashes. I also have some joint and leg pain, but the hot flashes have been the side effect that has been the most uncomfortable. This is going to sound very weird and my...

      more

      Jan.
      I am on Femara and a quarter of the way into the 5 th year. I would give anything to know how to decrease the hot flashes. I also have some joint and leg pain, but the hot flashes have been the side effect that has been the most uncomfortable. This is going to sound very weird and my doctor could not explain why while taking an antibiotic for bronchitis 2 years ago, my hot flashes completely stopped. Once I stopped taking the antibiotics, the hot flashes returned..... :(
      I will be interested to see if there are any suggestions. Hang in there... 5 years actually goes by pretty fast.

      Comment
  • Lori S Profile

    For anyone who has finished chemo, how soon after did your taste return? And hair return?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      When I underwent chemo the first time...my hair began to grow back a few days before my last chemo treatment (Taxol). As for tasting my food. My last go round with two different chemo drugs gave me a platinum taste in my mouth. It's been almost 5 weeks & my food tastes better, although there are...

      more

      When I underwent chemo the first time...my hair began to grow back a few days before my last chemo treatment (Taxol). As for tasting my food. My last go round with two different chemo drugs gave me a platinum taste in my mouth. It's been almost 5 weeks & my food tastes better, although there are a few things that turn my stomach now. Like oily meats such as pepperoni, etc. Maybe it's because my boyfriend cooked so many Digiornos frozen pizzas when I was going through chemo. Lol. Can't even look at a 3 meat frozen pizza in the store without almost gagging! Lol

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I can't remember how long until I got my old taste for my two favorite things.... coffee and chocolate came back. I think it was pretty quickly.

      As for my hair, I completed chemo. in the first part of January and have a picture of me with my 60th birthday cake April 14th and my hair has grown...

      more

      I can't remember how long until I got my old taste for my two favorite things.... coffee and chocolate came back. I think it was pretty quickly.

      As for my hair, I completed chemo. in the first part of January and have a picture of me with my 60th birthday cake April 14th and my hair has grown out to a very short "buzz" cut. It just takes a while!!! I will be interested to hear more stories.

      1 comment
  • K G Profile

    How irregular/regular was your period upon return? I had one 6 months after chemo (one month after being on Tamoxifin), but haven't had one since (I have an IUD). Hope the cycle I had means no menopause, but sure would like another one for reassurance.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    almost 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My period stopped during chemo. My last treatment was nov 5, 2011 and my period returned on march 17, about 8 months since i had last had it. Although it is shorter- about 3 days long, it has been very regular so far, every 3 weeks, to the day! I have not started tamoxifen yet, doc wanted me...

      more

      My period stopped during chemo. My last treatment was nov 5, 2011 and my period returned on march 17, about 8 months since i had last had it. Although it is shorter- about 3 days long, it has been very regular so far, every 3 weeks, to the day! I have not started tamoxifen yet, doc wanted me to finish rads first. I will be starting tamoxifen on Monday. Not sure what will happen with my period after that. I am young, just turned 30 in feb, that could make a difference. Best of luck!

      2 comments
    • Lisa M Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Hi Kellie, I believe we had our treatments about the same time (last one 10/31/11)... i still have not received mine, but do feel the side pains like I used to before the chemo. Just haven't seen any blood. Hoping that it does come back soon so I'm not entering menopause at 41. We'll see what...

      more

      Hi Kellie, I believe we had our treatments about the same time (last one 10/31/11)... i still have not received mine, but do feel the side pains like I used to before the chemo. Just haven't seen any blood. Hoping that it does come back soon so I'm not entering menopause at 41. We'll see what happens :) Good luck to you!!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My doctor didn't give me an Oncotype Dx score. She said it would change how I would get treated. Should I be concerned?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3B Patient
    almost 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Joni Dempsey Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I don't really like his/her answer. What does that mean" it won

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I wonder if the reason you did not get your oncoDX test score yet is because your doctor has not received the results? When my brother-in-law was treated for breast cancer, the onco DX test did not come back for a couple of weeks after his surgery. This might be the situation in your case.......

      more

      I wonder if the reason you did not get your oncoDX test score yet is because your doctor has not received the results? When my brother-in-law was treated for breast cancer, the onco DX test did not come back for a couple of weeks after his surgery. This might be the situation in your case.... it just isn't ready yet.
      One thing about breast cancer treatment, you have to become much more proactive. You have to become your own best advocate. So many women are passive about their relationships with their healthcare providers.... this is the time you have to throw off that behavior and start asking questions. This is not to say you become cranky, and mean spirited. You have to learn how to partner with your providers. You discuss your tests, your side effects, your treatment, etc. Mistakes can easily be made and you have to speak up if something doesn't seem correct. So often, women will ask questions on this board, we can't answer. This is part of the mental strength you will need. I would contact your doctor's office to ask about this test, but if you have recently had surgery, it takes a while longer for your doctor to get that particular test result. Darlin' you put on those big-girl panties and fight like a girl!!! We are always here for you. Take care, Sharon.

      Comment

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