100 Questions and Answers about Advanced and Metastatic Breast Cancer

100 Questions and Answers about Advanced and Metastatic Breast Cancer

by Lillie Shockney, Gary R. Shapiro



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449634018
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC
Publication date: 03/28/2011

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Part 1 Suspicions of Metastatic Breast Cancer 1

Questions 1-8 cover topics related to the initial diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, including:

Does the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer mean an instant death sentence?

How will my oncologist decide to treat my metastatic breast cancer?

I want to get under way with treatment immediately and everything is taking too long. Why can't I start treatment immediately?

Part 2 Ensuring You Are in Good Hands-Selecting the Oncology Team to Take Care of You 13

Questions 9-18 discuss the selection of your oncology team, and important criteria to look for, such as:

How do I know I'm receiving the best and most appropriate care for my current situation?

How can I participate in the decision making about my treatment?

How do I select a medical oncologist who will be primarily responsible for my care and treatments?

Part 3 Decisions Regarding Surgery and Radiation for Treatment of Metastatic Disease 23

Questions 19-25 share information regarding surgery and radiation, with topics such as:

My cancer has spread to my brain and is located in one spot. What are the treatment options for this type of metastasis?

How is radiation used for treatment or control of metastatic breast cancer?

I've had radiation already to shrink my cancer in the spine and it has regrown. Can I have radiation again?

Part 4 Chemotherapy for Treatment of Metastatic Disease 29

Questions 26-46 are concerned with the details of chemotherapy treatment:

How will my oncologist decide how much chemotherapy to give me?

How will the doctors determine if the chemotherapy is working?

What are my chances of remission, andhow long it will last?

Part 5 Hormonal Therapy 51

Questions 47-50 discuss hormonal therapy as a treatment option:

How does the doctor determine if I should get hormonal therapy instead of chemotherapy?

Are there different types of hormonal therapies? How does my doctor decide which to use?

I am taking hormonal therapy for treatment of my metastatic breast cancer. I thought chemotherapy was "better" than hormonal therapy since it is given intravenously. Is that true or a myth?

Part 6 Side Effects of Metastatic Breast Cancer and Its Treatment and How to Control Them 57

Questions 51-70 address emotional and physical changes that occur after diagnosis and treatment of metastatic breast cancer, as well as management strategies, including:

What kind of side effects might I expect to experience as a result of getting treatment for my metastatic breast cancer?

My chemotherapy and hormonal therapy have caused me to develop symptoms of menopause. How can I manage these symptoms and feel more like myself again?

I am feeling more joint pain and backaches that make it difficult to walk around. What can I do to manage my pain?

Part 7 Targeted Therapy 77

Questions 71-74 reviews information based on targeted therapy for metastatic breast cancer, such as:

What is a monoclonal antibody?

What is targeted therapy, and how does it work?

I have been taking trastuzumab (Herceptin), but the doctor says that my cancer is not responding to this treatment anymore. Do I have any other options?

Part 8 Clinical Trials 83

Questions 75-78 help decipher the pros and cons of participating in a clinical trial:

What is a "Clinical Trial," and am I a candidate to still participate in one if I have metastatic breast cancer?

What questions should I ask the doctor about a specific clinical trial he has recommended for me?

How do I find out about clinical trials that might be appropriate for me to consider?

Part 9 Complementary and Alternative Medicine 89

Questions 79-85 describe alternative treatment methods, such as:

What are examples of some complementary and alternative treatments that I might hear about or want to learn more about?

I want to try some complementary therapies while receiving my chemo treatments. How do I go about deciding which therapies to do?

Where can I go to get credible information that is up-to-date related to research studies that have been done regarding complementary and alternative medicine?

Part 10 Other Common Questions 97

Questions 86-90 answer common concerns of cancer patients, including:

My family wants me to stop smoking, but I already have incurable cancer. Do I have to stop?

A friend to mine who has metastatic disease says that periodically she gets to stop treatment for a while. How does my oncologist decide if I can have a drug holiday? How long does it usually last?

Should I still get my annual screening mammogram?

Part 11 End of Life, Treatment, Crossroads, Making Plans 105

Questions 91-100 help guide you through decisions regarding end-of-life plans, such as:

I don't know how to approach talking about such decisions with my family. How do I do this?

How and when will the doctor recommend that I stop treatment?

I feel very stressed about my medical situation and need time to clear my head and think about what I want to do. How can I do this?

Drug Tables 119

Appendix 127

Glossary 131

Index 141

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