No Two Breast Cancers are Exactly the Same

I’m not a doctor but I have learned these past couple of years that even though I met many wonderful women diagnosed with breast cancer, none of us had exactly the same kind of breast cancer.  This is the reason why treatments can be so different affecting when we have surgery, if we have chemo and/or radiation, medication given after treatment etc. 

What makes every case so unique?  Many factors including:  age of patient at diagnosis, tumor grade and size, cancer stage (0-4), tumors being hormone positive or negative and HER2 status.  (HER2+ has a protein that causes breast cancer cells to grow and is considered an   aggressive type of breast cancer).  I was HER2+.   How you and your doctor decide your treatment plan takes in these factors and more. 

Remember, a good doctor will encourage a second and third opinion.  YOU are ultimately in control of what you will and will not do.  Talk to others, ask your doctor why he/she recommends this treatment and what are the survival rates with treatment and without.  Only YOU know what you can emotionally and physically handle.  Your quality of life is often overlooked during cancer treatment.  It’s important to ask about side effects before, during and after.  Many people suffer for years and were never told anything in advance. 

Hope this helps! XO