Treatment Journey: Find Your Path
No case of breast cancer is the same. Many factors (including genetics, cancer characteristics, age, environment, lifestyle and more) will be considered when your care team builds a treatment plan for you. Developing a personalized plan is the best practice for effectively treating the cancer.
We've developed five journeys that mirror common pathways breast cancer patients follow: Early Stage Breast Cancer, Neo-adjuvant Therapy, Pregnancy During Breast Cancer, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) and Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer.
Early stage breast cancer is stage I or II; it begins with surgery before moving on to systemic therapies and/or radiation. Neo-adjuvant therapy is typically given to patients who have stage II to III breast cancer. Rather than beginning with surgery, neo-adjuvant (pre-surgery) therapies are given to treat the tumour/cancer cells prior to any operations, and the care team will follow through with systemic therapy and radiation afterwards. Pregnant breast cancer patients will follow a similar path, but skip the radiation. DCIS is considered stage 0 breast cancer; the cells are non-invasive and can generally be treated with only surgery and radiation. Finally, Metastatic, or stage IV, breast cancer refers to cases where the cancer has spread beyond the breast. Treatment on this path will focus on symptom management, living with stage IV and optimizing quality of life.
Along each journey, you'll find important information about what you need to know and do during each stage, as well as information about coping emotionally and working with your health care team. Additional links to other helpful sources can be found along the paths.