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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

  • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile

    Has anyone experienced side effects with Aromasin? Thanks.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My legs hurt all the time bone pain

      1 comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Yes had rather rare side effects. I'm on tamoxifen now and doing ok. I rather severe suicidal thoughts. It is very rare so please don't worry about it. Most have few if any side effects.

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can I opt out of radiation or all treatments for my Stage 1 cancer? And what would be the result if I wanted to have it later?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      I would strongly suggest getting all the treatment your dr suggests for your stage one cancer. Without treatment your stage one cancer could enter the lymph nodes and then would become invasive with a possibility of spreading to your bones, liver, lungs, etc. I am stage three and would give...

      more

      I would strongly suggest getting all the treatment your dr suggests for your stage one cancer. Without treatment your stage one cancer could enter the lymph nodes and then would become invasive with a possibility of spreading to your bones, liver, lungs, etc. I am stage three and would give anything to have been caught in an earlier stage. Please get your treatments!

      Comment
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I agree with Diana. I had stage 0 breast cancer and did 30 treatments of radiation and am now taking Tamoxifen. We are very blessed. I don't want to live with regrets

      1 comment
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
  • Thumb avatar default

    My mother had bilateral mastectomy last week and has had fevers ever since. Her white blood cell count is at 47? Is that bad? Going in for her 3rd surgery today.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I am sorry but do not know what is normal for blood counts but if she is running a fever, that does not sound good to me. This is something she needs to talk to her surgeon about asap. It also sounds like she may need to be on some kind of antibiotic.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      A normal white blood cell count is around 10,000. I assume your mom's is 47,000. With a high white cell count and a fever it sounds like your mom has an infection going on. (I was a nurse in a former life.) She needs to reach out to her doctors ASAP.
      If she can't reach them, and depending...

      more

      A normal white blood cell count is around 10,000. I assume your mom's is 47,000. With a high white cell count and a fever it sounds like your mom has an infection going on. (I was a nurse in a former life.) She needs to reach out to her doctors ASAP.
      If she can't reach them, and depending on how bad she feels, you might want to consider going to the ER at a hospital with which her doctor is affiliated. Be sure she wears a mask (you can get one at a drug store). She probably needs to have blood work and other tests to figure out what's going on.
      Keep us posted, and please continue to ask any questions you might have.

      2 comments

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