Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
In some cases, initial treatment of breast cancer with chemotherapy or hormone therapy can help prevent metastatic or recurrent breast cancer.
For women with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, treatment with tamoxifen, an aromatase inhibitor, or both can also help prevent recurrence. For some postmenopausal women who are also ER+, an aromatase inhibitor such as exemestane (Aromasin) works even better than tamoxifen alone. Aromatase inhibitors may be taken alone or after tamoxifen.
For more information, see the topic Breast Cancer.
Managing side effects
The side effects of breast cancer treatment can be serious. Healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep and exercise may help control your symptoms. Your doctor may also give you medicines to help you with certain side effects, such as medicines to control and prevent nausea and vomiting.
Other symptoms that can be treated at home include:
Having cancer and being treated for it can be very stressful, especially when it is metastatic or recurrent cancer. There are steps you can take to reduce your stress. Some people find that it helps to talk about their feelings with family and friends. Others find that spending time alone is what they need.
If your emotional reaction to cancer gets in the way of your ability to make decisions about your health, it's important to talk with your doctor. Your cancer treatment center may offer psychological or financial services. And a local chapter of the American Cancer Society can help you find a support group.
Cancer or cancer treatments can cause changes that may be hard to adjust to, such as changes in your body image or sexual problems. Managing body image issues may involve talking openly about your feelings with your partner and discussing your concerns with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to refer you to groups that can offer support and information.
For more information about learning how to live with metastatic or recurrent cancer, read "Coping With Advanced Cancer" or "When Cancer Returns" from the National Cancer Institute. These booklets are available online at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/advancedcancer and at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/when-cancer-returns.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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