Getting diagnosed with breast cancer is followed by making several decisions about the treatment. Now, these decisions are not easy because of the heightened feelings of anxiety and a sense of urgency. But it helps to take out a bit of time to research the options, ask the right questions, and talk to the medical team in detail about breast cancer treatment.
In that regard, here are the important pointers for choosing the right breast cancer treatment.
1. Start by understanding the diagnosis
Treatment plans are based on the stage and type of cancer. Thus, you need to learn about your diagnosis as much as possible. So, do not hesitate to ask your medical team about your breast cancer treatment plan in detail. You can do some research online but be careful because many sites have inaccurate information.
2. Know the options that you have
Ask your doctor about the treatment options for your stage and type of cancer. Some of your options in this regard are:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Palliative care
- Active surveillance (watchful waiting)
- Clinical trials
3. Understand the clear goals of your treatment
Doctors might use certain treatments for eliminating, stopping, and slowing down cancer. They might also suggest the use of palliative care, otherwise known as supportive care, for managing the side effects and symptoms. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the goals of the treatment plan and how that impacts you. Does it align with your treatment goals?
4. Know about the side effects of every option
Cancer might have late effects or long-term side effects that tend to develop years or months after the treatment. You need to talk to your medical team about the probable long-term impact of every treatment option and the way they get managed. Additionally, ask your medical team about any probable sexual repercussions of the treatment.
5. Consider the benefits and risks of every treatment
You need to consider the benefits and risks of every treatment option, such as:
- Possibility of cancer coming back after treatment
- Chances of living without or with the treatment
- Impact on your independence and quality of life
- The chances of getting completely cured
6. Getting a second opinion in the matter
You might want to get a second opinion from another oncologist, and your doctor will not discourage you in this matter. Different doctors might have different experiences with breast cancer treatments. Thus, seeking a second opinion might help you in making a decision or confirming the present treatment plan.
7. Consider the cost of the suggested treatment
Of course, you will not say no to a viable breast cancer treatment for cost, but you need to make the arrangements beforehand to manage the expenses. Let your medical team identify the costs and guide you in that matter.
Hopefully, you have a clear idea now regarding how to select the right breast cancer treatment. Make sure to pay attention and focus on the treatment plans suggested by your doctor.