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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

  • Alglen Thelex Garay Profile

    My mom just had her 2nd chemo treatment two days ago and now she's feeling body pains and is weak. Is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 8 years 3 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Yes, it's very very normal. Chemo takes a lot out of your body!! The tiredness is something you can't explain unless you've been there. Have her ask her Onc what she can prescribe for the body pain. And she needs to listen to her body and get all the rest she can!! Her body is fighting a battle....

      more

      Yes, it's very very normal. Chemo takes a lot out of your body!! The tiredness is something you can't explain unless you've been there. Have her ask her Onc what she can prescribe for the body pain. And she needs to listen to her body and get all the rest she can!! Her body is fighting a battle. Resting is so important. I felt very weak quite a bit during chemo. Especially with the last two drugs I was given. Hugs to your Mom. Tell her to hang in there. After all my treatment and having stage 3C....I'm now cancer free! So treatment is so worth it!!!

      4 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Diana is so right. Mom has to listen to her body and this IS normal. The chemotherapy is extremely powerful because cancer cells are tough opponents. Chemo, attacks both cancer cells and good cells. Her body is fighting like it never has had to fight before. Her body needs a chance for the...

      more

      Diana is so right. Mom has to listen to her body and this IS normal. The chemotherapy is extremely powerful because cancer cells are tough opponents. Chemo, attacks both cancer cells and good cells. Her body is fighting like it never has had to fight before. Her body needs a chance for the good cells to recover from each treatment and that is what it is doing when she is so tired. She needs to let it recover and not put extra stress on her body by doing physical tasks that add to the fatigue she feels. Blessings to your Mom, and to you for your caring and love. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Lori S Profile

    I know this is off topic, but I'm having heart issues due to chemo? Has anyone ever had a cardiac catherization? I'm very hesitant to say yes to the doctor as it doesn't seem too urgent at this point.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Augh, I am so sorry you are going through all of this. You will be great tomorrow, the cath will go fast. Your leg may be a little sore, but no biggie compared to what you have been through. It seems like your cardiologist is on top of it all, i will be sending you lots of positive vibes! Good...

      more

      Augh, I am so sorry you are going through all of this. You will be great tomorrow, the cath will go fast. Your leg may be a little sore, but no biggie compared to what you have been through. It seems like your cardiologist is on top of it all, i will be sending you lots of positive vibes! Good luck tomorrow, hope you can rest tonight.

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      What kind of heart problems are you having? Pain, shortness of breath, a fast heart beat you feel? Have you had an echocardiagram or an ekg, post chemo? What did they show? I have taken care of many people post catheterization. There can be complications as with anything, but for the most part...

      more

      What kind of heart problems are you having? Pain, shortness of breath, a fast heart beat you feel? Have you had an echocardiagram or an ekg, post chemo? What did they show? I have taken care of many people post catheterization. There can be complications as with anything, but for the most part they are pretty safe. Have you seen a cardiologist?

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone been diagnosed stage 3 with mets and NOT been offered surgery ? I am taking Letrozole daily and Denusomab monthly.

    Asked by anonymous

    over 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Consult with another doctor if you are not happy or unsure about your treatment. Talk to your treatment team to clarify why no surgery.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      This just sounds odd to me. I am not a doctor but the only time I have heard this is from my elderly neighbor who has refused to have any kind of treatment other than the hormone blocking drug you are taking. You are also taking Denusomab which is a drug for osteoporosis so I am assuming the...

      more

      This just sounds odd to me. I am not a doctor but the only time I have heard this is from my elderly neighbor who has refused to have any kind of treatment other than the hormone blocking drug you are taking. You are also taking Denusomab which is a drug for osteoporosis so I am assuming the cancer has spread to bones?
      I would be tempted to get another opinion asap especially if you are questioning this too. The drug Letrozole, you are taking is usually given after all treatments have been completed, not before. Denusomab treats osteoporosis and is usually given in daily injections.
      Oncologists may start treatment with chemotherapy if a tumor is large and has spread. What that does is shrinks the tumor before the surgery is done so all of it can be removed. There have been some amazing changed in tumors starting treatment this way and it is being done more often.
      Letrozole and Denusomab are NOT chemotherapy's. Letrozole only blocks hormones to a type of cancer that feeds off of hormones. Denusomab hopefully helps build bone that has been destroyed from osteoporosis.
      I would consider this to be a very passive way of dealing with breast cancer. I would want drugs to go after the cancer cells in a very aggressive way!!!
      Please get another opinion, as this doesn't sound like the normal course of treatment I have ever heard of. Please keep in touch with us. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Mary Chase Profile

    Just wondered when do some of the side effects start cropping up? I just had my first of four chemo TXs today. It went well. I'm just feeling tired.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I had 4 AC treatments day 2,3,4 were my toughest. I felt like I had the flu.... tired, achy but I had a horrible reaction to the steroid which amplified how I bad I felt. Nobody can really describe how you are going to feel. It is just how your body tolerates the chemicals. After about a week...

      more

      I had 4 AC treatments day 2,3,4 were my toughest. I felt like I had the flu.... tired, achy but I had a horrible reaction to the steroid which amplified how I bad I felt. Nobody can really describe how you are going to feel. It is just how your body tolerates the chemicals. After about a week I felt really pretty good. I just learn to plan to spend a lot of good couch time watching Netflix each first week of my treatments. Hang in there... you have one down and 3 to go!

      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I had taxotere, carboplatin n herceptin, by the third day after I was knocked for a loop. It depends on the cocktail and you, honestly you never know. Symptoms usually alleviate after a week or so. Try to drink water, a lot, it helps

      Comment

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