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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

  • Susan Green Profile

    I would like to know chances of survival after "simple"mastectomy without chemo or radiation therapy

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 7 years 3 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Susan, I agree with Anne Marie. Treatment is based on so many factors. Chemo is not always needed. Nor is radiation. Learn all you can about your type of cancer. ER/PR , HER2 status, cancer stage, any lymph node involvement, etc. Knowledge is power. And don't hesitate to get a second opinion....

      more

      Hi Susan, I agree with Anne Marie. Treatment is based on so many factors. Chemo is not always needed. Nor is radiation. Learn all you can about your type of cancer. ER/PR , HER2 status, cancer stage, any lymph node involvement, etc. Knowledge is power. And don't hesitate to get a second opinion. As a matter of fact, i would encourage it. You don't want to go overboard on unneeded treatment, but at the same time you want to do what's needed to be cancer free and reduce the chance of your cancer returning in the future. Thats the ultimate goal. Don't allow fear to cloud your decision. One way or another. No one wants to go through chemo or radiation. It's scary. Especially not knowing how your body is going to react. I was terrified at the thought of going through chemo. But it was doable & I'd do it again. I had a late stage cancer though. I don't know what stage you are. You'll be in my thoughts & prayers Susan & I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you. God bless you in your journey.

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Susan, I agree with Anne Marie. Treatment is based on so many factors. Chemo is not always needed. Nor is radiation. Learn all you can about your type of cancer. ER/PR , HER2 status, cancer stage, any lymph node involvement, etc. Knowledge is power. And don't hesitate to get a second opinion....

      more

      Hi Susan, I agree with Anne Marie. Treatment is based on so many factors. Chemo is not always needed. Nor is radiation. Learn all you can about your type of cancer. ER/PR , HER2 status, cancer stage, any lymph node involvement, etc. Knowledge is power. And don't hesitate to get a second opinion. As a matter of fact, i would encourage it. You don't want to go overboard on unneeded treatment, but at the same time you want to do what's needed to be cancer free and reduce the chance of your cancer returning in the future. Thats the ultimate goal. Don't allow fear to cloud your decision. One way or another. No one wants to go through chemo or radiation. It's scary. Especially not knowing how your body is going to react. I was terrified at the thought of going through chemo. But it was doable & I'd do it again. I had a late stage cancer though. I don't know what stage you are. You'll be in my thoughts & prayers Susan & I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you. God bless you in your journey.

      1 comment
  • Tsehaye Teshome Profile

    Why am I losing my hair?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Tsehave,

      Hair loss occurs because chemotherapy targets all rapidly dividing cells—healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Hair follicles, the structures in the skin filled with tiny blood vessels that make hair, are some of the fastest-growing cells in the body. If you're not in cancer...

      more

      Hi Tsehave,

      Hair loss occurs because chemotherapy targets all rapidly dividing cells—healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Hair follicles, the structures in the skin filled with tiny blood vessels that make hair, are some of the fastest-growing cells in the body. If you're not in cancer treatment, your hair follicles divide every 23 to 72 hours. But as the chemo does its work against cancer cells, it also destroys hair cells. Within a few weeks of starting chemo, you may lose some or all of your hair. (I started having hair loss 2 weeks after my first chemo. treatment) I hope this helps! Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • Delicia matthews Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      This IPad...that's second....excuse me

      3 comments
  • Connie Hass Profile

    Anyone get tired from tamoxifen ? Or is it post-radiation fatigue 2 months later?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Tamoxifen and arimidex both have caused extreme exhaustion for me my oncologist did do all the thyroid and diabetic testing just to rule them out. I find if I just get going and move exercise, walk...etc I'm okay but the minute I stop I'm exhausted. It's frustrating at times but for me just...

      more

      Tamoxifen and arimidex both have caused extreme exhaustion for me my oncologist did do all the thyroid and diabetic testing just to rule them out. I find if I just get going and move exercise, walk...etc I'm okay but the minute I stop I'm exhausted. It's frustrating at times but for me just part of the course.

      Comment
    • tara mollick Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Please have your thyroid checked. Mine went haywire after radiation. Easy fix with meds.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My cancer is stage 1, but my grade is a 3, will that change the type of treatment I will have?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Oh SO many things are looked at for determining treatment. Many more aspects than just stage and grade.... what type of breast cancer, your age, hormone receptors, types of cells etc. those all go into your treatment plan. Cancer treatment is tailored made for each woman's diagnosis. Your...

      more

      Oh SO many things are looked at for determining treatment. Many more aspects than just stage and grade.... what type of breast cancer, your age, hormone receptors, types of cells etc. those all go into your treatment plan. Cancer treatment is tailored made for each woman's diagnosis. Your individual cells change your treatment from all the other women with breast cancer. Hang in there....This is a great group of women on this site and we'd love to help and support you as you are going through your treatment. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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