How is Treatment Sequence Determined?
- There are many factors that go into determining which breast cancer treatments a patient will be given, and what order those treatments will be given in.
- Some subtypes of breast cancer are better off being treated with something like chemotherapy before surgery, while the majority get surgery first.
- For the majority of people with breast cancer, information doctors get from performing surgery can help determine what additional treatment is needed.
“Breast cancer is multiple different subtypes,” Dr. Elisa Port, Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, tells SurvivorNet. “These different subtypes can behave extremely differently, almost like different diseases.”Read More
Dr. Port explains that there are certain subtypes of the disease — such as HER2-positive breast cancer or triple-negative breast cancer — that sometimes benefit from having treatment first and then surgery. The majority of other types of breast cancer will undergo surgery first, and then doctors use the information they learn during surgery to determine what additional treatment is needed.
“It’s very tailored, personalized precision medicine approach, for not only the person, but also the tumor,” Dr. Port says.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Would I benefit from treatment before surgery?
- Is it possible I can be treated with just surgery?
- What is my treatment timeline?
- Is there anything specific about my tumor that may change treatment sequencing?