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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

  • karyn johnson Profile

    First round of TC in the morning. How do you not just wait to get sick as you watch the drip? my mind is just making me crazy. Any suggestions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 13 answers
    • View all 13 answers
    • Renee' OK Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Agree with Julie! I was so blessed that I never got sick but I listened to my dr to the t. My routine was. Smoothie in the morning and granola bars and crackers during chemo. And water water water. I celebrate my one year today and feeling awesome. I send lots of blessings, peace and helping...

      more

      Agree with Julie! I was so blessed that I never got sick but I listened to my dr to the t. My routine was. Smoothie in the morning and granola bars and crackers during chemo. And water water water. I celebrate my one year today and feeling awesome. I send lots of blessings, peace and helping your way. You got this!!!!!!

      1 comment
    • Renee' OK Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Oh and music and reading was such peace

      Comment
  • tamara carr Profile

    Has anyone ever used any alternative treatments for cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      No...my treatments were conventional such as chemo, surgery & radiation. I do think it's a good idea to combine the two. Certain alternative treatments can assist with side effects from treatment. I've heard of women doing acupuncture to relieve nausea, etc from chemo. Yoga is great for...

      more

      No...my treatments were conventional such as chemo, surgery & radiation. I do think it's a good idea to combine the two. Certain alternative treatments can assist with side effects from treatment. I've heard of women doing acupuncture to relieve nausea, etc from chemo. Yoga is great for relaxation. I know it's a personal choice. I had to go with proven methods of treatment. Here is a great link that shows how you can combine the two. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-treatment/CM00002 I was stage 3C and now I'm happy to say that my last scan showed no cancer. Best wishes Tamara in whatever path you choose. :)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I agree with Diana. The combo of the two would be great. I rarely make absolute statements but I would, in this case, absolutely, not rely on alternative treatment as your only route to treat breast cancer. It is too serious of a disease to mess about with unconventional therapies. The sooner...

      more

      I agree with Diana. The combo of the two would be great. I rarely make absolute statements but I would, in this case, absolutely, not rely on alternative treatment as your only route to treat breast cancer. It is too serious of a disease to mess about with unconventional therapies. The sooner you start treatment, the better for a successful outcome. I would, however, recommend supportive alternate therapies in conjunction with conventional. You may read some anectdotal stories but I would not risk my life on putting my eggs in that basket. I am about to hit the 5 year mark cancer free and living a wonderful life. Good luck to you and please let us know how you are doing. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    am having surgery to remove lymph nodes since one came back positive after my mastectomy even though frozen section was negative. Had a choice between radiation and surgery - Did i make the right decision> Surgery scheduled this Thursday --

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 4 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      3/13 nodes positive for me... If surgery can get you out of radiation or chemo ... Sounds like a good choice to me!!!!! I had rads and chemo and surgery--- surgery - was easiest and least side effects. For me... Everyone is different-- so it really does have to do with you going with the...

      more

      3/13 nodes positive for me... If surgery can get you out of radiation or chemo ... Sounds like a good choice to me!!!!! I had rads and chemo and surgery--- surgery - was easiest and least side effects. For me... Everyone is different-- so it really does have to do with you going with the choice you feel is right for you!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I had a mastectomy with 5 sentinel nodes removed. They looked ok on the MRI, and when my surgeon removed them she told me they found no cancer during surgery. Alas, on the final pathology report, they found microscopic cancer cells in one of the nodes. Shoved me from 2A to 2B. It didn't...

      more

      I had a mastectomy with 5 sentinel nodes removed. They looked ok on the MRI, and when my surgeon removed them she told me they found no cancer during surgery. Alas, on the final pathology report, they found microscopic cancer cells in one of the nodes. Shoved me from 2A to 2B. It didn't change my treatment plan but it's still lousy news because my cancer was not contained within the original tumor. When I first read your email, it sounds like you are having all your nodes removed? If that is the case, and I rarely give my opinion here but I think that is overkill. Having all of your nodes removed invites lymphadema and that is a very lousy way to live the rest of your life. I hope they are only removing the sentinel nodes which are the nodes first in line from your breast.
      If you are having a complete dissection because of one node, it's a harsh choice. The surgeon said to me, I had an 8% chance of cancer being in other nodes but since I led such an active lifestyle lymphadema would have been a bad sentence for me to live with. If this is the case and they are taking all your lymph nodes on one side, I'd be talking statistics and getting a second opinion. I truly am worried for you and I just DON'T usually put my strong opinion out here on this board. Read about Lymphadema, you end up having to wear a compression sleeve, going to a special physical therapist, and its forever. I would be taking the radiation without a doubt. Please keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can taxol give you flu-like symptoms? For example cough with mucus, running nose and tireness.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had flu symptoms like body aches, but not runny nose and stuff. Possibly just a cold?

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I've never heard of Taxol causing a cough, mucus, or runny nose. Being tired is a major side effect of chemo. Taxol also causes hair loss including nose hair which would cause my nose to occasionally run. The other symptoms you mentioned aren't symptoms of Taxol. It might be a good idea to call...

      more

      I've never heard of Taxol causing a cough, mucus, or runny nose. Being tired is a major side effect of chemo. Taxol also causes hair loss including nose hair which would cause my nose to occasionally run. The other symptoms you mentioned aren't symptoms of Taxol. It might be a good idea to call your doctor if you're experiencing those symptoms. :)

      Comment

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