The Commission on Cancer requires that all patients undergoing treatment for cancer receive a care plan.
Breast cancer care plans should include two components: treatment and survivorship.
Click on a file to download and print the American Society of Clinical Oncology templates below.
Take them with you to your next doctor's appointment.
Patient navigation is a process of assisting a newly diagnosed breast cancer survivor through and around barriers in the complex cancer care system to help ensure timely diagnosis and treatment.
Ask you physician, healthcare provider, or support group leader for patient navigation assistance.
Invasive breast cancer treatments can be local or systemic.
Local treatments (surgery and radiation therapy) are used to remove the breast cancer tumor and
destroy or control the remaining cancer cells.
Systemic treatments include chemotherapy and immunotherapy
(plus hormonal therapy for estrogen-positive breast cancer.)
Surgery is usually the first line of attack against breast cancer.
The type of surgery you have will depend on your stage at diagnosis, biological factors, and your personal choice.
Lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery) is the removal of only the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue.
Mastectomy is the removal of all of the breast tissue.
Lymph node removal (axillary lymph node dissection) can take place during lumpectomy and mastectomy if the biopsy shows that breast cancer has spread outside the milk duct.
Sentinel lymph node dissection is less-invasive lymph node removal
Breast reconstruction is the rebuilding of the breast after mastectomy and sometimes lumpectomy.
Prophylactic mastectomy is preventive removal of the breast to lower the risk of breast cancer in high-risk people.
Prophylactic ovary removal is a preventive surgery that lowers the amount of estrogen in the body, making it harder for estrogen to stimulate the development of breast cancer.
Cryotherapy (cryosurgery) is an experimental treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and kill cancer cells.
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about surgery.
Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is a targeted and effective way to destroy cancer cells in the breast that may stick around after surgery. It is relatively easy to tolerate and its side effects are limited to the treated area. Radiation therapy uses a special kind of high-energy beam to damage cancer cells by slowing or stopping them from growing and multiplying.
Cancer cells are more easily destroyed by radiation than healthy, normal cells.
Radiation can be delivered by:
Radiation therapy is used to treat all stages of breast cancer :
Radiation is not an option for you if you:
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy (or chemo) affects the whole body by going through the bloodstream.
It prevents cancer cells from growing and spreading by destroying the cells or stopping them from dividing.
It weakens and destroys cancer cells at the original tumor site and throughout the body.
Chemotherapy is used to treat:
Adjuvant Chemotherapy is used to treat early-stage breast cancer and is given after surgery.
Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy is used to shrink the cancer and is given before surgery.
Most standard chemotherapy regimens include a medicine from these groups:
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about chemotherapy.
A form of medicine that uses information about a person’s genes, proteins, and environment to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.
In breast cancer, personalized medicine uses specific information about a person’s tumor to help diagnose, plan treatment, find out how well treatment is working, or make a prognosis.
Examples of personalized medicine include using targeted therapies to treat specific types of cancer cells, such as HER2-positive breast cancer cells, or using tumor marker testing to help diagnose cancer.
Personalized medicine describes tailoring breast cancer treatment to provide the most effective treatment for each woman's disease.
The following information is needed:
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about personalized/precision medicine.
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about immunotherapy.
Hormonal therapy medicines treat hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers by:
Types of hormonal therapy medicines include:
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about hormonal therapy.
Clinical trials are important in discovering new treatments for and new ways to detect, diagnose, and reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Clinical trials show researchers what does and doesn’t work and help doctors decide if the side effects of a new treatment are acceptable when weighed against the benefits offered by the new treatment.
Clinical trials are conducted in four phases.
Each phase builds on the results of the previous phase.
Phase I: Safety
Phase I trials are small, with usually between 15 to 50 people participating, to learn the:
Phase II: Effectiveness
Phase II trials are slightly larger than phase I trials and usually involve 25 to 100 people, to learn the benefits of the treatment:
Phase III: General Use
Phase III trials are usually large (up to tens of thousands of participants) and are the last step a new treatment goes through before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers approving it for general use.
Phase IV: Long-term Benefits & Side Effects
Phase IV trials usually are done after a treatment has been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may involve hundreds of thousands of people.
Clinical Trial Facts
The top concerns related to clinical trial participation include:
Please consult your physician or healthcare provider to learn more about participating in a clinical trial.