Health Tips from a Mother of Three

FAQS For Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Patients

A cancer diagnosis is scary for any patient. Dealing with the diagnosis and then having to look into various treatment options is a big task. While your doctor advises you and answers questions, your brain may need time to process all that information. So, taking the time to find some answers on your own time is also a good idea. Women newly diagnosed with breast cancer often have similar questions. Here are some answers to common questions about breast cancer treatment services and options.

Will I Need Chemotherapy?

The need for chemotherapy depends on the stage of cancer. Stage 1 breast tumors don't normally require surgery. A diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer means the tumor is small and cancer hasn't spread to nearby lymph nodes. The tumor is only in the breast tissue. Stage 1 is early-stage breast cancer, so the prognosis is good. Stage 2 is more advanced and means cancer has spread to lymph nodes and other breast tissue. Oncologists typically recommend chemotherapy for stage 2 breast cancers.

Your doctor can go over whether your specific diagnosis requires chemotherapy.

Do I Have To Have Surgery?

Patients diagnosed with breast cancer have the same treatment options that include surgery. This is the first step in treatment for the treatment of breast cancer to remove malignancy and stop cancer from spreading further.

Once you've had surgery, you go on to receive other treatments based on the treatment plan your oncologists have for you.

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone therapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Each patient is an individual with unique needs, so the oncologist bases the treatment plan on what's best for each patient.

Lumpectomy VS Mastectomy: How Do I Choose?

A lumpectomy and mastectomy both remove cancer tumors. A lumpectomy only removes the cancerous lump, so cancer may return. A mastectomy removes the cancer tumor and the breast tissue. This removal of the entire breasts can give you peace of mind that cancer won't return. A patient can have a lumpectomy and if cancer returns, doctors could recommend the patient have a mastectomy to prevent recurrent cancers.

What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis means cancer has spread to lymph nodes and other areas of the body. This is stage 4 breast cancer.

The symptoms vary by where cancer has spread in the body, like bones, lungs, brain, and stomach.

  • Bone pain or fracture
  • Shortness of breath
  • Jaundice
  • Stomach swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

Your doctor advises you on treatment options and survival rates.

After a breast cancer diagnosis, when you go for breast cancer treatment services, the doctors are happy to answer questions and advise you on treatment options.