All about treatment.
You may not feel like there’s much you can control these days. But when it comes to treatment for metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the goal is to control it.
Of course, it’s also important to think about your own needs and goals as you consider different treatment options. Finding out as much as you can about treatments—from your doctor and from other people within the MBC community who may have experience with those treatments—can help you decide on the treatment option that may be right for you.
I think it’s important for all of us to be proactive and learn as much as we can about the drugs and the trials.”— Kathleen
Treatment options can control MBC and extend life for years
Many treatments are available for MBC and more are being tested in clinical trials every day. Awareness and research around MBC is growing, but still has a way to go. A number of advocacy organizations have that on their agenda.
My hope is in the future of research and people understanding that the science is where the answers have to come from. Seeing new ideas being funded by the community is really what gets me energized and makes me feel like we're moving in the right direction.”— Kelli
Before it’s tested in a clinical trial, a new medicine to treat breast cancer has been studied for 6 or more years on average
Many treatments may be used either alone, in combination, or in sequence. Most treatment plans include a combination of:
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapies
Local treatments such as surgery and radiation only work on the area around the tumor. Systemic therapies target all of the cancer in the body.
A response to treatment shows improvement, stable disease means that it stays the same, and progression shows it is getting worse.
A treatment is used until it stops working or if the side effects aren’t tolerable, after which another treatment is started.
Things to consider when it comes to treatment
You and your doctor may want to consider joining a clinical trial if it makes sense for you.
Take the time to get the information you need to make the right decisions for your personalized care treatment plan.
When a treatment is chosen, ask your healthcare team for a complete list of side effects.
You don't have to do this alone
Connect with support, your way, with the Facing MBC Together app.Learn more
Every kind of cancer treatment can cause unwanted health issues, also known as side effects
Side effects can range from being generally unpleasant to harmful to your health. They can depend on many different factors, including the drug type and dose, duration of treatment, and the person who is being treated.
New medicines to control MBC with fewer side effects are currently being studied
Supportive care, also known as palliative care, can be provided for side effects caused by cancer or cancer treatment.
If you experience new or worse symptoms, tell your healthcare team. Your healthcare team may know ways to alleviate symptoms from side effects or prevent them altogether.
I want to give myself the best chance. So I’m always looking for what’s coming down the pipeline. What’s going to give me the best quality of life, but also give me the best chance for a long ride on a drug. I spend a lot of time looking at clinical trials, looking at different treatment options, talking to different doctors.”— Susan
Is there a clinical trial right for you?Learn more at ASCO Cancer.Net »
You don’t have to face this alone
Your friends and family are there to hold your hand, walk your dog, or help however you may want it. Depending on your treatment, you or your caregiver may want to organize a schedule or discuss transportation to and from your appointments.
One easy way to communicate, coordinate, and connect with others who may want to offer help like sharing rides, doing errands, or watching kids? The Facing MBC Together app. It’s easy to use, on computer, tablet or your phone.