Breast Cancer Treatment

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A Doctor's View on Breast Cancer Treatment

Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Treatment for breast cancer is not the same for every woman. The choice of treatment depends on many factors, including the extent of spread (stage) of the cancer, the precise type of cancer (there are many different kinds of breast cancers), the overall health status of the patient, and the patient's preferences. Types of treatments include surgical treatments, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy.

Managing side effects of breast cancer treatment

Chemotherapy and other types of breast cancer treatment can produce unpleasant side effects, but fortunately, there are treatments available today to help minimize these reactions to the drugs. In general, side effects depend upon the exact drug or combination of drugs being given.

Nausea

Nausea is one example of a common side effect that can occur with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, or targeted therapy. Many people find that eating small amounts of food at a time helps. Others recommend ginger-based foods, not lying down after eating, and rinsing your mouth before and after meals. Your doctor can also prescribe medications that can be given before and after the cancer treatment, or can be taken along with pain medications if changing your eating habits does not bring relief.

Fatigue

Breast Cancer Treatment Resources

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