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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

  • Heidi Hathaway Profile

    Did anyone else out there start tamoxifen while still on herceptin therapy? Is tamoxifen always started in pill form?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Susan Coffey Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi. I'm on herceptin every 21 days and administered by IV and I'm also on tomoxofin, everyday by pill form. Will be like that forever. No real side effects from either of them.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I don't know about Herceptin. To my knowledge tamoxifen is given as a pill.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can the surgeon see that there is nothing wrong with the fluid from a needle biopsy and decide not to have it tested?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      If that is what your surgeon did I would get myself a second opinion and this time make sure it is tested.

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      If that's your doctor's approach I would definitely seek another opinion. Rarely do breast surgeons take that approach. Whoever you see, insist that this be chased down until you get a definitive answer. It may require a surgical biopsy and a pathology read, but you absolutely DO NOT want this...

      more

      If that's your doctor's approach I would definitely seek another opinion. Rarely do breast surgeons take that approach. Whoever you see, insist that this be chased down until you get a definitive answer. It may require a surgical biopsy and a pathology read, but you absolutely DO NOT want this to sit.

      I suggest you be as proactive as possible on this. As you probably know, "watching" a lump or suspicious area can cause major problems if it is malignant. Please know, though, that many lumps are NOT cancer. You just need to be sure.

      Good luck to to you!

      Comment
  • Jodie Brummet Profile

    Anyone take tamoxifen and still have periods?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Yes I still had periods while in tamoxifen for three years. They were irregular I was already in the pre menopausal state with irregular periods before I started tamoxifen. I had an endometrial biopsy which had showed I was still a young'in and having a normal cycle.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      My doctor also would check my blood hormone levels every year. This past visit my hormone levels showed I am officially menopausal I haven't had a period for a year.

      Comment
  • Cortney LaBlance Profile

    My doc says Im a clinical stage 2b, er pr , her2 pos 3 , meet with surgeon tom. Going to do double mast. and then TAC chemo and herpectian. I am worried about the side effects, I have 3 small children. Wondering which is worse cancer or treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 5 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • michelle j Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Cortney ~ you have to do this or your kids will watch you die! Believe me, I understand. I was diagnosed Aug 1st and life has been a rollercoaster since then. I just turned 41 and have 4 kids, my youngest being 4. My kids have seen my hair fall out, they have seen me lock myself in my bedroom to...

      more

      Cortney ~ you have to do this or your kids will watch you die! Believe me, I understand. I was diagnosed Aug 1st and life has been a rollercoaster since then. I just turned 41 and have 4 kids, my youngest being 4. My kids have seen my hair fall out, they have seen me lock myself in my bedroom to cry, they have seen their daddy cry and they have seen me become very sick after the first round of chemo. They also saw us all pitch in together to adapt to this, they have seen church and school families pull together to make us meals and give them rides to various activities, they have become even closer to their grandparents who have helped us out tremendously! My second round of chemo was so much easier so they got their mom back as I wasn't sick anymore. Now we are headed into surgery and we will tackle this, too. I want many years with my family so I will do whatever it takes. Hugs to you! I know you are scared. It will be ok.

      Comment
    • terri best Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      You can do this. Take one day at a time. Cancer is definitely worse than the treatment. Without the treatment your kids won't have you. I was so scared, and mad and upset when I was first diagnosed. I remember telling one of my sisters that I was NOT doing chemo. Next week I'll finish my last...

      more

      You can do this. Take one day at a time. Cancer is definitely worse than the treatment. Without the treatment your kids won't have you. I was so scared, and mad and upset when I was first diagnosed. I remember telling one of my sisters that I was NOT doing chemo. Next week I'll finish my last chemo treatment. Yay!! Some time after that I'll start radiation, 5 days a week for 7 weeks. I'll handle it one day at a time. I have a husband, 3 boys, 22, 20, and 18. I also have a beautiful 3 yr. old granddaughter that my husband and I take care of 4 days a week. She's been through it all with me. I was more concerned about how my side affects would effect her than she was. She has handled everything great. She has even gone to most of my treatments with me and my husband. I have a lot to live for and I'm going to fight all the way. You can too. This site is wonderful for support. We've got your back!!! Best of luck to you.

      Comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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