I had a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer but because she was afraid of the healthcare industry, doctors, surgery, and possible treatments chose to go untreated.  Nine years later, when she could barely walk because of metastasis (spreading of cancer to other areas of the body), she spent the last three years of her life living amongst doctors, medicines and suffering excruciating pain.  All of which might have been avoided had she gone ahead and treated the breast cancer in its infancy.

So while, you may feel that the you are cursed with a cure that is worse than the disease, think of the alternative – a painful death.

That is not for me.  How about you?

Disclaimer: For accuracy sake, I have taken the liberty to provide direct written information from various reputable sites.  I give credit to each site and suggest you check them out for further in-depth information.

So how is breast cancer treated?   

Taken from Centers for Disease Control & Protection

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/treatment.htm

 Depending on the type of breast cancer there are several methods of treatment available.

  • Surgery.  An operation where doctors cut out cancer tissue.
    1. Mastectomy – removal of breast
    2. Lumpectomy – removal of lump or suspicious area
    3. Breast Conserving surgery – less radical than mastectomy
  • Chemotherapy.  Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
  • Hormonal therapy.Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
  • Biological therapy.Works with your body’s immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.
  • Radiation therapy.Using high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill the cancer cells.  Several different types of therapy are available depending on the type of breast cancer involved.

Doctors from different specialties often work together to treat breast cancer. Surgeons are doctors who perform operations. Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine. Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.

For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute’s  https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/patient/breast-treatment-pdq#section/_185

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials use new treatments on patients to see if they are safe and effective.  It’s important to work with your oncologist to find the right clinical trial for your type of breast cancer. Resources such as The National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institutes are reliable and reputable sources.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary Medicine are medicines and health practices that are used in addition to standard treatment.  Alternative Medicine is used instead of standard methods of practice.  Meditation, yoga, and supplements like vitamins and herbs are examples.  As many kinds of complementary and alternative medicine have not had scientific testing it is imperative that you speak with your doctor before you start any kind of complementary and alternative medicines.

Which Treatment Is Right for Me?

No one can answer this question for you.  Each person is uniquely made.  Each cancer is just as unique – which is why it can be difficult to slay.  Having a good oncologist that you can talk and discuss your options with is important to making the decisions that are right for you. Also, do not hesitate to get a second opinion.  If you physician gives you a hard time, it’s a big clue to find another physician.

Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer

Taken from American Cancer Society

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/targeted-therapy-for-breast-cancer.html

As researchers have learned more about changes in cancer cells that cause them to grow out of control, they’ve developed new types of drugs that target some of these cell changes. These targeted drugs are designed to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. These drugs work differently from chemotherapy drugs, which attack all cells that are growing quickly (including cancer cells).

Targeted drugs sometimes work even when chemo drugs do not. Some targeted drugs can help other types of treatment work better. Targeted drugs also tend to have different side effects than chemo.

There are so many targeted therapies, too many to list in a blog.  So again, I refer you to the source.

When my cousin was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, she felt it was a death sentence and she was about to go to the electric chair.  Like her mother, my mother and our grandmother we both thought we knew the path she was about to take.  Imagine our surprise when two oncologists told us that breast cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was but considered a chronic disease!  There are so many different types of treatment available today and more coming into practice daily that her life expectancy was at least another 8-10 years!

So do the research, find a cure for you and have faith.

Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to comment here or even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.

 

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