Treatment for breast cancer is a long-term commitment. Initial treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can require trips to the hospital or doctor’s office for several months. You also may need to take medications for up to 5 or even 10 additional years to lower the risk that the cancer will come back.
You’ll get the best results from treatment when you follow your plan completely and on schedule. Doctors often call this "full compliance" or "full adherence." Staying on track can be challenging, though, especially after the first few months.
There are many different reasons why people may not follow their treatment plan as well as they should. Remember that these are common problems: If you're having them, you're not alone! But the more you stay on track, the more the treatment is likely to benefit you.
In this section, you can read more about these common problems and how to overcome them:
- Forgetting to Take Medication
- Missing Appointments
- Scheduling Challenges
- Depression or Feeling Unmotivated
- Communication with Healthcare Providers
- Financial Issues
The medical experts for Staying on Track with Treatment are:
- Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H., medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist, University of Rochester Cancer Center, Rochester, NY
- Ann H. Partridge, M.D., M.P.H., medical oncologist, hematologist, and breast cancer specialist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
- Marisa C. Weiss, M.D., breast radiation oncologist, Thomas Jefferson University Health System, Philadelphia, PA
These experts are members of the Breastcancer.org Professional Advisory Board, including more than 70 medical experts in breast cancer-related fields.
This section is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca.
Breastcancer.org's mission is to help women and their loved ones make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast health and breast cancer, so they can make the best decisions for their lives. Medical information on the Breastcancer.org web site and in our printed materials is reviewed by members of our Professional Advisory Board, which includes over 60 practicing medical professionals from around the world who are leaders in their fields. We are a nonprofit organization supported by individuals, foundations, and corporations. Find more about us here.