Medically Reviewed by Amy P. Murrell, MD
A diagnosis of breast cancer often throws a woman into an emotional whirlwind. McLeod Breast Surgeon Dr. Amy Murrell explains what to expect and when a patient may experience each type of treatment.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Murrell’s comments:
Some patients benefit from chemotherapy before surgery. It’s important to identify these patients early, because if they have surgery when they should have had chemotherapy first, their outcome can be a little bit different.
We also want to be careful of the order in which the treatment is given. For example, Radiation <LINK TO: https://www.mcleodhealth.org/blog/radiation-therapy-overview/> never comes before surgery. Radiation is always after surgery and after any chemotherapy, if needed.
There are several reasons a woman would need chemotherapy before surgery:
Where to Turn for Answers
There is a lot of information on breast cancer online but the overabundance of it makes it difficult for a newly diagnosed woman to do her own research. It is very easy for a woman to become totally overwhelmed. Further, there is incorrect information out there including outdated information as well as opinions of some presented as facts.
I sit down with each patient and discuss what their surgical treatment and other treatment options are, answer all of their questions and educate them so that they feel comfortable making a decision that will be good for them for the long term. McLeod also provides every woman diagnosed with breast cancer a Breast Cancer Treatment Handbook with the latest information on treatment, surgery, what to expect, etc.
Ultimately, a woman needs to rely on her doctors to guide her through this process.
Have a cancer question? Ask a Cancer Specialist?