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Once breast cancer has been diagnosed and its subtype has been determined, the doctor will propose breast cancer treatments. Here are the most common:
Breast cancer treatments aim to:
Local therapy is applied to the breast only. Surgery and radiation therapy are local therapies.
Systemic therapies travel to all parts of the body to destroy any cancer cells that may have spread elsewhere. These are drugs that circulate through the blood to act on the whole body. Systemic therapy:
Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and HER2-targeting therapies are systemic therapies.
Molecular type is a critical factor in the choice of treatment.
Treatments for metastatic breast cancer aim to slow the progression of the cancer, maintain the best possible quality of life, increase lifespan and relieve the pain caused by the cancer.
Surgery is the most common option for breast cancer. An adjuvant treatment aims to increase therapeutic efficacy.
Treatments for breast cancer can cause side effects, including nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and pain. It is important to understand that each patient experiences these symptoms at different levels of intensity and depending on the treatment received. Occasionally, medication may be prescribed to relieve or even eliminate any side effects. Do not hesitate to discuss the options with your healthcare team. Here are more facts you should know about side effects in general:
Description: a new way of thinking about health care, initiated in the United States in the 1990s.Method: combine conventional treatments with complementary holistic approaches.Goal: achieve faster healing and improve patient care, health, well-being and quality of life.
Approaches proposed in integrative medicin :
These complementary approaches aim to reduce the pain caused by cancer and treatment side effects, such as nausea and fatigue. Some approaches are beneficial in reducing anxiety and stress. In addition, they help integrate better lifestyle habits, which have a positive effect on overall health.
Approaches to feeling better during treatment
It is important to note that complementary approaches are not intended to cure the patient, but rather to contribute to his or her well-being. They aim to reduce the discomfort of chemotherapy, support the patient during this ordeal and improve his or her quality of life.
Complementary approaches should not replace conventional treatments, but rather complement them.
There are health risks associated with stopping or interrupting treatment without medical advice.
Integrative medicine is an approach that is on the rise. Several universities in the United States and Canada have formed groups, such as the Consortium on Heath Centers for Integrative Medicine (NCCIH) and the Consortium des centres de santé universitaires en médecine intégrative, that are studying the benefits and advantages of integrative medicine.
It is important to note that in order to be considered for integrative medicine, the benefits of complementary approaches must be scientifically validated for safety and effectiveness.
In Quebec, the CHUM and the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital suggest this approach to their patients. Physicians who practice integrative medicine must be certified. Courses on the subject are given to oncology residents at the Université de Montréal.
Talk to your doctor!
If you are interested in complementary approaches, talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to guide you towards proper resources. Although they can be beneficial, some approaches may also be contraindicated. It is therefore essential to discuss them with your medical team and to make sure of the expertise and qualifications of those involved.