Treatment and Side Effects
Medical tests are important for detecting breast cancer as early as possible and forgetting appropriate care. Read about the tests used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring; genetic testing; the process of receiving your test results; and more.

Breast Cancer Tests: Screening, Diagnosis, and Monitoring
Test Results and Medical Records
Genetic Testing

Types of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can develop in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple, the lobules that produce milk, or the tissue in between. Learn about the different types of breast cancer, including non-invasive, invasive, and metastatic breast cancers, and others.

Your Diagnosis
A pathology report contains the results of tests on cancer and nearby tissues. It provides information that you and your doctor can use to make the best treatment plan for your particular diagnosis. Find out in this section about the information your pathology report is likely to include, such as hormone receptor status, HER2 status, and lymph node involvement.

Getting Your Pathology Report
Non-Invasive or Invasive Breast Cancer
Cell Grade
Rate of Cell Growth
Tumor Necrosis
Size of the Breast Cancer
Surgical Margins
Vascular or Lymphatic System Invasion
Lymph Node Involvement
Ploidy (Number of Chromosomes)
Hormone Receptor Status
HER2 Status
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
EGFR Status
Tumor Genomic Assays
BRCA1 and BRCA2 Testing
Other Abnormal Gene Testing
Breast Cancer Stages
Recurrent Breast Cancer
What Does Prognosis Mean?
Your Diagnosis: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Tools for Tracking Results: Pathology Report Booklet

Benign Breast Conditions
Benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions are unusual growths or other changes in the breast tissue that are not cancer. Most breast changes are benign. Learn more about some of the most commonly diagnosed benign breast conditions.

Treatment and Side Effects
In recent years, there’s been an explosion of life-saving treatment advances against breast cancer, bringing new hope and excitement. Instead of only one or two options, today there’s an overwhelming menu of treatment choices that fight the complex mix of cells in each individual cancer. The decisions — surgery, then perhaps radiation, hormonal (anti-estrogen) therapy, and/or chemotherapy — can feel overwhelming. can help you understand your cancer stage and appropriate options so you and your doctors can arrive at the best treatment plan for YOU.

In the following pages of the Treatment and Side Effects section, you can learn about:

Planning Your Treatment
What types of treatment are available, the most likely sequence of treatments, treatment options by cancer stage, and fitting treatment into your schedule?

Getting a Second Opinion
Reasons for getting a second opinion about your treatment plan, how to go about getting one, and what to do once you’ve got it.

Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), mastectomy, and lymph node dissection, and what to expect from each. Also included: Prophylactic surgery and breast reconstruction.

How chemotherapy works, who should get it, different types and combinations, and side effects and how to manage them.

Radiation Therapy
How radiation therapy works, who it’s for, advantages, side effects, and what to expect when you get it.

Hormonal Therapy
The link between hormones and breast cancer and how different groups of drugs — including ERDs, SERMs, and aromatase inhibitors — can affect that link. Also covered: Side effects of hormonal therapies.

Targeted Therapy
How different drugs work, who should get them, how they’re given, side effects, and major studies.

What is immunotherapy, different types of immunotherapy, and who it’s for?

Complementary and Holistic Medicine
How complementary medicine techniques such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga could be a helpful addition to your regular medical treatment. Includes research on complementary techniques and ways to find qualified practitioners.

Drugs for Treatment and Risk Reduction
A reference list of drugs used to treat and reduce the risk of breast cancer, including how they work, to whom they are typically given, and side effects.

Treatments for Pain
Ways to treat cancer- and treatment-related pain, including types of medications and tips on talking to your doctors about pain.

Treatment Side Effects
A reference list of side effects and ways to manage them.

All about lymphedema, including who is at risk, what to watch out for, how to reduce risk of lymphedema flare-ups, and how to find a lymphedema therapist.

Clinical Trials
What clinical trials are and how they work, why they’re important, and how to find trials that may be appropriate for you.