Will I Have Options for My Breast Cancer Treatment?

Question: Will I have options for my breast cancer treatment?

Answer: Well, presuming we are talking about an invasive cancer -- the type of cancer that can spread to other parts of the body -- yes, there are options that patients can consider.

Now, the options may be few in number, but I think they're very important to understand. One option, of course, is mastectomy and that has been around for about 100 years.

So it's the gold standard, if you will, against which other treatments are measured. The other option is breast conservation, often referred to as lumpectomy and radiation therapy.

This is probably the most popular and most used treatment for invasive cancer at this time.

In my own practice, for example, about 85-90 percent of the patients whom I see have an opportunity to save their breast. Now, it should be remembered that this decision is, at least in great part, up to the patient. There are some women who can have breast conservation, but who choose to have mastectomy for their own personal reasons. And that's why it's so important to have a dialogue with the patient, so she knows what her options may be and how to choose for herself what her best choice may be.

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