FROM OUR EXPERTS
Breast cancer isn’t so bad – it’s the treatment that’s tough! Many of us have had that thought as we’ve made our way through breast cancer treatment. Surgery, radiation, chemo, and long-term drugs all have their own challenges.
If you’ve chosen to treat your breast cancer, you can’t avoid the rough spots. But knowing what to expect along the way – from deciding what treatment to have, to going through it, to dealing with the side effects (both immediate, and long-term) – is a big help. Knowledge is power. It also diffuses fear. Arm yourself with information, and you’ll be better able to handle those treatment challenges! Let’s begin with your medical team. Understand that you’ll be dealing with some of your cancer doctors for a long time – perhaps the rest of your life. It’s critical that you have personnel in place that you trust, and with whom you feel comfortable. •Picking a Breast Cancer D...
While lumpectomy plus radiation is an excellent option for many women with breast cancer, it's not the best treatment for everyone.
Lumpectomy plus radiation may NOT be right for you under the following circumstances:
You have already had radiation to the same breast for an earlier breast cancer. Radiation cannot be given twice to the same area.
You have extensive cancer in the breast or have two or more separate areas of cancer in the same breast. If cancer is extensive or in multiple areas, a mastectomy may be required.
You have a small breast and a large tumor and removing the tumor would be extremely disfiguring.
Your surgeon has already made multiple attempts to remove the tumor with lumpectomy, but has not been able to completely remove the cancer and obtain clear margins.
You have a connective tissue disease, such as lupus or vasculitis, which would make you sensitive to the side effects of radiation.
You are pregnant. If you're pregnant, it's not safe to have radiation thera...
Woman in position for radiation treatment, from the front. Middle radiation beam is shown.
A bright yellow indicates breast being treated
B light yellow part of the beam, beam in air, not touching woman
C opening of the linear accelerator
D arm holder supports woman's right arm
Learn more about how radiation therapy works .
Front view | Side view | Cross–sectional view
You should know
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