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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

  • Karen Milburn Profile

    I am only getting ready for my 2nd chemo treatment and I need surgery and radiation. How often would I get body scans ct scans etc to assure the cancer does not come back. treatment (no surgery yet) . I know I nee surgery and radiation yet.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    almost 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Your insurance, doctor are part of the issue. To much radiation is a huge issue. I take some responsibilty I don 't miss a check up, watch my weight, exercise, and take my tamoxifen. I dislike tamoxifen, exercise and a healty diet but I like living more and those are the best things to keep a...

      more

      Your insurance, doctor are part of the issue. To much radiation is a huge issue. I take some responsibilty I don 't miss a check up, watch my weight, exercise, and take my tamoxifen. I dislike tamoxifen, exercise and a healty diet but I like living more and those are the best things to keep a reaccurrance from happening.

      Comment
    • Mary G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Karen, I had several diagnostic tests right after diagnosis and prior to chemo to confirm that the cancer had not spread to other areas and to check my heart to make sure it was "normal" and able to handle the chemo regimen. Have you had any of these yet? From what I understand they limit these...

      more

      Karen, I had several diagnostic tests right after diagnosis and prior to chemo to confirm that the cancer had not spread to other areas and to check my heart to make sure it was "normal" and able to handle the chemo regimen. Have you had any of these yet? From what I understand they limit these kind of tests during treatment. However, from what my oncologist is telling me there will be follow-up every 3 months after treatment (chemo, surgery, radiation) that will include testing for the first year then every 6 months after that. I assume the tests will be based on each individual person/circumstance, Best to you.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am 43 years old Asian. did lumpectomy last December. with Breast Cancer stage 1A. with HER2 negative, PR negative, ER postive. Doctor said I need Chemoterapy but I don't think I need one. I need some help with my decision.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I would ask to have the oncotype test that helps determine if chemo would benefit you, and by how much. If your oncologist has not mentioned this, ask about it, or get a second opinion. Tissue from your tumor that was removed is sent for testing, so it is specific to you. I had a low...

      more

      I would ask to have the oncotype test that helps determine if chemo would benefit you, and by how much. If your oncologist has not mentioned this, ask about it, or get a second opinion. Tissue from your tumor that was removed is sent for testing, so it is specific to you. I had a low score, and did not have chemo.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I chose the most aggresive treatment offered. I wanted to kill any sneeky cancer cell hiding and thats want chemo did for me.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone had an entrapped nerve in the armpit or arm? If so, what did you do about it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 7 years 1 answer
    • Mary Chase Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It depends. It will depend on your symptoms, the severity, the cause of the nerve entrapment and what has been tried to alleviate it. I have had this happen and had pain and weakness in my wrist. When the pain would keep me up at night and wearing a splint didn't help it was diagnosed as ulnar...

      more

      It depends. It will depend on your symptoms, the severity, the cause of the nerve entrapment and what has been tried to alleviate it. I have had this happen and had pain and weakness in my wrist. When the pain would keep me up at night and wearing a splint didn't help it was diagnosed as ulnar nerve entrapment at the level of the elbow and I had surgery to give the nerve more room. Nerve entrapment with symptoms in the arm or had can also be due to a nerve or nerves being pinched in the neck. A neurologist can help make the proper diagnosis.

      2 comments
  • Rita Siomos Profile

    I am about to start chemo and was told because I have very small veins that putting in a port is the best way to go. Not sure on what to do

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thats a no brainer if you ask me! 100% I say get a port. It was the best thing I did before I started chemo. No needles poking you and you can get lidocaine to numb the port area so you don't feel a thing!

      1 comment
    • Nikol Vega Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Go with the port!! I had healthy veins until chemo killed them, finding a vein was a nightmare every 2 weeks.

      Comment

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