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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

  • Sheron Markwick Profile

    Does having a breast biopsy spread the cancer cells in a DCIS diagnosis

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 2 answers
    • Sherrel B Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I was curious, if they poked a hole in the duct, would the cancer get out. I had 2 places biopsied. I asked the same question to my Breast Surgeon and she said NO. She told me that type, DCIS, cancer could not live outside the duct. It could only live outside-- if it became invasive. The way I...

      more

      I was curious, if they poked a hole in the duct, would the cancer get out. I had 2 places biopsied. I asked the same question to my Breast Surgeon and she said NO. She told me that type, DCIS, cancer could not live outside the duct. It could only live outside-- if it became invasive. The way I understood her, it would have to grow and break thru the duct wall to become invasive.
      To me, the sooner it is out the better
      Best of luck to you. :)

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I had 2 biopsies; one +for IDC with some DCIS and the second showed all DCIS and the 8 lymph nodes removed were all negative so it hadn't spread and don't think it will as far as I know.

      Comment
  • Lydia Bujanda Profile

    Should I worry? I'm almost 3 weeks post-op for a unilateral mastectomy including immediate reconstruction with an expander. My drain is out and I've noticed a small "squishy" bump at the top of the breast. Could this be fluid retaining in that spot?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes, it is probably just some fluid but show it to your doctor when you go back to have your fluid expansions done. I am sure it is nothing to worry about and will start to go down soon. Good luck with it all.

      Comment
    • Sarah Phinney Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I'd recommend asking your doctor. But I had the tissue expanders as well, and my odd "squishy pockets" we're the expander that we're just a little flappy in small places since I wasn't yet fully expanded. Best wishes!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    If it was really bad do you think my team would tell me? I'm waiting to get information on my cancer stage as I'm having chemo first. I do know that the grade is 2 and I have at least 1 node affected, a mixed dx in the same breast. My CT scan is clear.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Now I understand why your team is putting off the staging until after your preliminary treatment as they are expecting the tumor to shrink. It makes perfect sense. Hang in there and hopefully that tumor will get a whole lot smaller. Please keep in touch with us. Big hugs and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      There are actually different circumstances where oncologists would recommend chemo 1st. Many, many, reasons that don't paint a bleak picture in the least. As for hiding something from you.... I do not think they do that. When I was having my biopsy, the doctor told me to "expect this to come...

      more

      There are actually different circumstances where oncologists would recommend chemo 1st. Many, many, reasons that don't paint a bleak picture in the least. As for hiding something from you.... I do not think they do that. When I was having my biopsy, the doctor told me to "expect this to come back as breast cancer..." There was nothing "warm and fuzzy" about her statement.
      The next time you have an appointment with him/her, take a friend, or relative with you. They can be your scribe and take notes. Your job is to ask questions and get answers. I really believe lack of information is the most terrifying thing about having breast cancer. I remember when I heard all of the facts, including the pathology report, I finally knew all the answers to all my questions. I knew how we were going to proceed and the treatment plan was in full view. There was something much more reassuring and almost comfortable in finally having that knowledge. Please stay in touch with us here. We have all been where you are and really want to support our sisters in this journey. You will be ok... it is just one foot in front of the other and one appointment at a time.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Mary G Profile

    Completed my last chemo today! Wanted to stop by and say thanks to all who helped me get through this part of the journey with your positive comments and tips. On to the next steps; mastectomy and rads.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2013
    almost 6 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Mary,

      HOO-RAH!!! This was a big one, thank goodness!! So happy for you, take a big deep breath. Chemo ain't for wimps!

      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Oh you are going to feel so much better now that chemo is done. Its almost over, congratulations

      Comment

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