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Breast Cancer Treatment Options - Why Having Choices is So Important

By Expert HERWriter
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Over the past several years, I’ve watched as several friends have battled cancer. Fortunately, most of them have won the fight and are doing really well, but sadly, some of my dear friends did not make it. From talking with each of them and supporting them over the years, one thing that has struck me time and time again is the way cancer will affect your entire life even though the diagnosis is often limited to “just” one area of your body.

For example, ask any woman who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer if she feels like the cancer is just affecting one or both breasts, and my guess is she will probably tell you no. Cancer affects everything.

This is one reason why I think that offering choices whenever possible is so important to people who are fighting cancer. Hearing the diagnosis of “you have cancer” can make a person feel as if every ounce of control has just been taken away. So that’s why whenever possible, I feel that control should be given back to that patient.

Using breast cancer as an example, many patients undergo a combination of some type of surgery and then possibly radiation and/or chemotherapy and hormone therapy too. These conventional treatments have helped save the lives of millions of women over the years, and I’m grateful that they are around to help us.

At the same time, I don’t believe medicine, even the field of oncology, is a “one size fits all” type of field, so I always like hearing from patients how they were given some options and that their doctors worked closely with them to determine what plan of action would be best for them.

I also always love hearing about additional, more alternative treatments that patients use to help them heal. Things like naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, spiritual support, and other things of this nature have been shown time and time again to help many cancer patients get better. And in many cases, it seems like these types of breast cancer treatments are especially valuable in helping patients feel like they are getting back some type of control in their lives again.

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Michelle, I had a fine caring surgeon who I see yearly now for checkups but the oncologist was cold as ice and the treatment that he recommended would have meant that I would have given up quality of life, and maybe even not have been able to go to the "dream job" that I had just excepted! So I had to make a choice that felt good to me, I'm glad that I did, just wish EmpowHER had been around then, maybe I could have asked if anyone else was feeling like I was the summer of 05 but I'm here and am a HAPPY SURVIVOR...I regained my groove, as they say!
Thanks for asking,
Respectfully, Princeline

June 26, 2009 - 4:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

I did not find my cancer doctor helpful at all. I had the worse reaction to my chemo

June 25, 2009 - 1:10pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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