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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    just diagnosed with DCIS.Wanted a lumpectomy, but due to where it is she'd have to take out 1/4 of my breast &recommended mastectomy with begns of reconstruction. hate the fact the reconstruction will drag out...I feel like I have lost control of my life

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I'm sorry for your horrible news. It's so much to take in all at once. You have found a wonderful site full of great women who know how you feel. You are not alone. We are all here for you. I'm guessing the reconstruction you are speaking of is expanders to stretch the muscle & skin then...

      more

      I'm sorry for your horrible news. It's so much to take in all at once. You have found a wonderful site full of great women who know how you feel. You are not alone. We are all here for you. I'm guessing the reconstruction you are speaking of is expanders to stretch the muscle & skin then exchanged for an implant. It is a drawn out process. This is what I had with my bilateral mastectomy. I went thru chemo for 6 months while being filled. Then had the surgery for exchange. 2 months later I had surgery for revisions & nipples. It's going on another 2 months & I will have tattooing for color. This is what was right for me. There is other types of reconstruction that can be done all at once. I'm not too familiar, but other ladies will help you with info on that. Of course, there is the option of no reconstruction at all. All up to you. From the moment you hear the words 'you have cancer', it's such a whirl wind. Take a deep breath & know your going to be ok. Your life is still what you make of it, you just have to find the new normal. Prayers to you.

      2 comments
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I did have a lumpectomy which ended as a partial mastectomy. My breast is a lot smaller than the other one but I can deal with that and it isn't so bad. Good luck.

      Comment
  • Conny Kutzner Profile

    I have been diagnosed with stage 2 dcis, grade 2, 22 lymphs neg and margins are also clear.was offered adjuvent therapy with or without chemo. And was told about tamoxifen and another pill over 5 yrs. dont know about doing chemo? any advice??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Cathleen King Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Did you get an oncotype dx test done? That was helpful for me and my oncologist to determine my plan

      5 comments
    • Gillian Ashworth Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It's a really hard decision. I took 3-4 weeks to make mine. I was stage one, grade 2-3 IDC w clear nodes. I chose chemo. I dragged my feet towards it bc I hated the idea of it and all the changes it brings. I'm now finished chemo (1.5 weeks out) and can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I...

      more

      It's a really hard decision. I took 3-4 weeks to make mine. I was stage one, grade 2-3 IDC w clear nodes. I chose chemo. I dragged my feet towards it bc I hated the idea of it and all the changes it brings. I'm now finished chemo (1.5 weeks out) and can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I really went with my intuition. I tried to continuously convince myself that I'd be fine without it but I couldn't escape it. I didn't want to look back w regrets or look forward w fear. It's what I had to do. Everyone is different. There are a lot of people who didn't go with chemo & are fine! My only advice is that you listen to your intuition and don't let fear decide for you, whichever way you go. Chemo isn't easy...being bald is a trying adjustment but it's all very doable. You find the strength and you power through. Good luck to you!

      3 comments
  • Robin Bailey Profile

    I am undecided about getting radiation for DCIS. Surgery turned up nothing - biopsy got it all. I'm thinking risk is low...

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Joanne Pawling Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had dcis. Biopsy got everything also. The radiation decreases the risk of it recurring. Good luck with your decision.

      Comment
    • Lav's Blue Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was diagnosed with DCIS in Sept. My oncologist did not recommend radiation due to the (small) size of the area & wide (clear) margins. She told me to get a second opinion if I wasn't comfortable with that. Some oncologists believe that radiation should be given for all cases of DCIS. I...

      more

      I was diagnosed with DCIS in Sept. My oncologist did not recommend radiation due to the (small) size of the area & wide (clear) margins. She told me to get a second opinion if I wasn't comfortable with that. Some oncologists believe that radiation should be given for all cases of DCIS. I decided to hold off on radiation & take aromatase inhibitors for 5 years (my feeling is that if I develop invasive CA later on, I want to have the option of radiation at that time.) Also, 2/3 of DCIS do not become invasive, so I'm concerned about over treatment. It's confusing, so do your homework, ask for advice, but know in the end, it's your decision.

      Comment
  • Connie Logan Profile

    I have swelling in my feet and lower legs and fatigue in legs. I am finished with Chemo, almost four weeks since last treatment. My oncologist won't give me anything for it. Anyone else have this problem?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I sure did! I finished chemo in March and my hands, calves, and feet continued to swell for at least 2 months, off and on. It drove me crazy! I told my kids I had "cankles" (calves/ankles) because there was no difference between them! My doc gave me Lasix but it didn't really do much good. ...

      more

      I sure did! I finished chemo in March and my hands, calves, and feet continued to swell for at least 2 months, off and on. It drove me crazy! I told my kids I had "cankles" (calves/ankles) because there was no difference between them! My doc gave me Lasix but it didn't really do much good. It has slowly gone away and yours likely will, too. I've been told it can take a year for all this stuff to go away. I just lost my right big toenail last night! Go figure.

      1 comment
    • Connie Logan Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Sorry Anxious about this

      Comment

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