Things Oncologists Wish Patients Knew About Breast Cancer Treatment

Your doctor wants you to get a second opinion

In Breast Cancer Treatment “Patients think they can’t go for second opinions or their doctor will be angry with them, but we actually encourage second opinions,” says Dr. Lake. “It’s all about the patient; what can we do to facilitate your education about your disease and treatment options?”

You won’t necessarily have to shave your head

In Breast Cancer Treatment Chemotherapy can sometimes make you lose your hair, but not all the time. The type of chemo drug and dosage can cause everything from a mere thinning to full hair loss; it also plays a factor in whether you’ll lose from your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or pubic area.

You shouldn’t attend appointments alone

Cancer is a very personal disease, but it’s important to let your loved ones in on the journey, says Dr. Lake. “A close loved one should be there for a patient’s initial consultation and when treatment decisions are being made,” she says. Not only will this give you a shoulder to lean on or hand to squeeze when hearing tough news, it also allows your support system to fully understand what to expect and what the side effects may be. Here’s how you can support a patient during chemotherapy.

Don’t assume chemo is your only option

For years, chemotherapy drugs were standard treatment for breast cancer and are delivered intravenously or orally; they work by attacking rapidly growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these meds also target cells all over the body, which can cause uncomfortable side effects like nausea. But these medications are no longer the only option. Hormone therapy and targeted therapy is also an option in certain cases. “In today’s era, fewer breast cancer patients are receiving chemo.

You should think like a doctor

After a breast cancer diagnosis, the first thing you should do is learn everything you can. “Patients need to really educate themselves so they can understand the biology of their disease,” says Dr. Lake. “They need to know what’s going on with their body.” Understanding the type of tumor and what it’s doing inside you can make treatment decisions easier because you’ll know what questions to ask and what each choice means.

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