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Advanced Breast Cancer: Managing Your Medical Care: Diagnosis To Treatment Decision


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Get A Second opinion

It is advisable to get a second opinion about your diagnosis and proposed treatment from a National Cancer Institute (NCI) certified Comprehensive Cancer Center. You can locate an NCI center at:,2 

Once you decide on a treatment, it can be administered by your cancer doctor if you would prefer.

Free air transportation is available to special cancer centers if your treatment cannot be given locally. (See "To Learn More.").  

If you cannot travel to such a Comprehensive Cancer Center, you can have the necessary information sent by an overnight carrier or regular post. 

Consider Palliative care

If the prognosis is particularly worrisome, consider modifying the treatment goal to preserving your quality of life. A consult with a doctor who specializes in treatment of pain (a palliative-care specialist) can help. Such professionals are trained to consider the patient's entire medical and personal situation and to focus on symptom management and pain relief along with curative treatments.

Think About Cutting edge treatments

If there are no mainstream medical treatments available, find out what new treatments are being investigated in clinical trials. Clinical trials involve cutting edge medicine. 

If there are no promising treatments in the United States, research whether there are useful treatments abroad. Learn how to spot a phony treatment. (See "To Learn More.")

Home Care Is Available If Needed

  • Much of what used to be done in a hospital can now be done at home thanks to advances in medical equipment and nurses and doctors (yes, doctors) who go to your home. 
  • Medical devices can provide monitoring information to your doctors over the internet.
  • You can hire home health aides through a service or on your own. Must of the cost of home care is covered by health insurance.

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