You’ve Got Breast Cancer: What Now?
You’ve come here to figure out what the breast cancer basics are.
Let’s begin with some good news. The mortality rate for breast cancer dropped significantly over the past thirty years. It peaked in 1990 and is now about forty percent lower. So although life with breast cancer is never a walk in the park, it’s better than it used to be.
Another reason for hope is that we know more about prevention. And that includes prevention of the recurrence of breast cancer. But we’ll get to that later.
Let’s look first at what breast cancer is and at the different treatments for it. Then we’ll show you how you can take charge of your journey through and beyond breast cancer.
What is Breast Cancer and Why Is It Harmful?
Breast cancer is cancer that develops in the breast. Cancer can form anywhere in the body. It occurs when cells divide uncontrollably and invade surrounding tissue.
Cancer cells are abnormal. Unlike normal cells, they don’t offer any benefit to the body. However, they influence the surrounding tissue, causing the body to supply them with precious oxygen and nutrients. In this way, cancerous tumors grow.
If breast cancer spreads (metastasizes) beyond the breast and into other organs it can be harmful and even deadly. This is because it interferes with the function of important organs and bodily processes.
To better understand your specific breast cancer diagnosis, it may be helpful to go over this article on breast cancer terms.
Specific Breast Cancer Types:
Treatment for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer treatments vary and are based on the type, grade, and stage of the cancer. Other factors, including personal preferences and health history, are also taken into consideration. Here are brief descriptions of some common treatments and what you can expect from them:
Of interest regarding treatment of breast cancer:
What If I’m the Exception?
Maybe you’re not a middle-aged white woman. Perhaps you’re pregnant. Or African American. Or a man. Maybe you smoke. Or maybe you’re still in your twenties.
Your breast cancer basics are different. There’s no way to argue otherwise. The statistics and treatments for breast cancer and even breast reconstruction have centered around a different average. Not your average. That doesn’t mean things will be worse (or better) for you. That means you need to find out how they’ll be different. Click below to explore our articles on being the breast cancer exception.
Taking Charge of Your Breast Cancer Journey
You’ve barely been diagnosed, and now your physician wants to schedule a mastectomy for tomorrow!?
Okay—maybe it’s not quite like that. But still, what about your daughter’s wedding next month? What about the cruise you planned this winter? Cancer treatment is time-consuming. Not to mention that side effects can be a bear. It might not be something you want to start immediately. But will putting off surgery or other treatment affect the outcome?
Of interest regarding your medical team and asking questions:
- Simplifying Breast Cancer: You are ALL That Matters
- Titles and Roles of the Different Members of My Medical Team
- When Your Plastic Surgeon and Breast Surgeon Disagree
- Don’t Forget to Ask This When You Prepare for Mastectomy: Advocate Shares Story and Advice
- How to Avoid Breast Surgery Scars: Get Hidden Scar Surgery!
- Lumpectomy or Mastectomy? How to Decide
Managing short and long-term effects of breast cancer:
Help your family and friends know how to help you: