Dealing with a Diagnosis of Advanced Breast Cancer
A diagnosis of advanced breast cancer can evoke many difficult emotions. You may feel angry, shocked, fearful, guilty, paralyzed, depressed, anxious, or all of the above, and more. These are normal reactions. It’s important to allow yourself to experience all of your feelings so you can move forward and take an active role in your treatment. Here are just some of the difficult feelings many women experience when faced with an advanced breast cancer diagnosis, and some important thoughts to keep in mind to help you deal with some of these feelings.
Do I Still Need Regular Breast Exams
by Vladimir Lange, MD
Even after the most complete treatment for breast cancer, there’s always a chance that cancer will recur. Most recurrences happen two or three years after surgery. The longer you go without a recurrence, the greater are your chances of remaining free of the disease. But you can never say that the cancer has been completely cured.
Coming to Terms with the Reality of Metastatic Breast Cancer
by Michele Cepeda, RN
Individuals diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer – breast cancer that has spread to different parts of the body, most commonly, bones, the lungs, or the liver – often are faced with lifelong treatments. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer focuses on controlling – not curing – the disease while providing a good quality of life.
The Latest in Breast Cancer Research
- Women with Small Node-Negative HER2+ Breast Tumors Appear to Benefit from Adjuvant Trastuzumab
- Use of Deep-Inspiration Breath Hold Technique Reduces Heart and Lung Exposure to Radiation
- Three Forms of Partial Breast Irradiation Produce Similar Outcomes
- Younger Women with DCIS Are More Likely to Have Breast Cancer Return
- Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalent with Breast Cancer Treatment
- Ultrasound May Reduce Need for Second Surgeries for Some Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer
- New Methods of Tumor Analysis May Predict Effectiveness of Chemotherapy
Coping with the Long-Term Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment
Treatment for breast cancer may trigger a variety of side effects that typically subside as treatment ends. Unfortunately, some symptoms linger for some individuals, while other effects may begin later. Medical oncologist and epidemiologist Kathy J. Helzlsouer, MD, MHS, says that the best way to cope with any side effect is to be alert and to remember that there are explanations and often treatments for the symptoms you may face.
Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
by Julie Berrett-Abebe, MSW, LICSW, Corinne Holbrook, MSW,LICSW, Jean OToole, PT, MPH, CLT-LANA, and Tara A Russell, MPH
For breast cancer survivors, a particularly concerning possible side effect is lymphedema. Lymphedema associated with breast cancer commonly presents as a swelling or tightness in the arm, breast, or along the chest. This physical change can have a significant effect on a cancer survivor’s quality of life. Because many women are fearful that they may develop lymphedema, they may alter or avoid activities. In actuality, many breast cancer survivors do not develop lymphedema.
Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
by Diana Donovan
It is no secret that the battle against breast cancer is ongoing. What is less well known, however, is that thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer are not only surviving for many years following diagnosis, but many are living longer and better lives during treatment. Thanks to more treatment options available today than ever before, doctors and nurses now approach metastatic breast cancer as a chronic condition that can be managed with ongoing therapy.
The Role of Targeted Therapy in Breast Cancer Treatment
by Tejal A. Patel, MD, and Edith A. Perez, MD
Targeted therapies form the mainstay of current treatment for women with breast cancer. Each form of targeted therapy functions by blocking a specific protein or pathway and interfering with the ability of the cancer cell to grow, divide, and metastasize. The four general types of targeted treatments currently used in breast cancer are directed against estrogen, HER2, angiogenesis, and apoptosis.