What Does it Mean if I am Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When I am Premenopausal?

Question: What does it mean if I am diagnosed with breast cancer when I am premenopausal?

Answer: If a woman is premenopausal when she is diagnosed, meaning she's still having regular periods there may be some implications in your treatment plan. Most of these implications, most of these differences will be related to whether or not chemotherapy is recommended. Typically the surgery, the radiation therapy that would be recommended whether you have breast conservation or mastectomy will be the same whether you've gone through menopause or not. If you haven't gone through menopause, you will be more frequently recommended to have chemotherapy than if you've already gone through menopause. This is particularly important for women who are what we call ER/PR or estrogen or progesterone receptor positive in their tumors. Postmenopausal women who are estrogen or progesterone receptor positive may simply be recommended to have tamoxifen or Arimidex as opposed to traditional chemotherapy.

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