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So You’ve Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer: Now What?

So you’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. What are the next steps you should take?

Breast Cancer Diagnosis (Susan G. Komen for the Cure Facebook)At this time there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

If cancer is found, tests are done to study the cancer cells and determine the best form of treatment. The tests will reveal information about the speed at which the cancer will grow, the likelihood that the cancer will spread throughout the body, the effectiveness of certain treatments and the likelihood that the cancer will recur.

Women with breast cancer have a variety of treatment options, according to the National Cancer Institute, including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

You may receive more than one type of treatment. The treatment that is right for you is determined by:

  • The stage of breast cancer
  • Whether the tumor has hormone receptors
  • Whether the tumor has too much HER2
  • Your general health
  • The size of the tumor in relation to the size of your breast
  • Whether you have gone through menopause

You can get information about coping on NCI’s website or from NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER. NCI also provides an instant messaging service, LiveHelp.

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