University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Treatment and Survivorship

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Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer

A new diagnosis of breast cancer is often paired with difficult sensations, emotions and responses including fear, shock, numbness and disbelief, anger, betrayal, grief and sadness. In the midst of emotional and potential financial stressors, information must be gathered and a new language of medical terms learned. Treatment choices must be understood and difficult decisions made. Women often report being overwhelmed or at least intensely challenged to make sense of the medical maze.

Three specialty areas of central importance in the treatment of breast cancer include: surgical oncology, medical oncology and radiation oncology. Not everyone is treated with all of these, but each is weighed for the benefits offered and for the potential risks incurred. Each of these areas can be thought of as a treatment building block.

These treatments may be given in different order and over differing amounts of time. An individual treatment plan is recommended based on the stage and biological behavior of the breast cancer, as well as the individual preferences of the newly diagnosed patient. A combination of treatment strategies is often the best method to treat the cancer and prevent its recurrence.

People respond differently to treatment and its side effects. Individuals feel and think differently in regard to diagnosis and treatment. Breast cancer survivors teach us that while these treatments can be difficult, the care and support they receive from their medical team and their loved ones can help greatly to weather this period.

At the Breast Care Center, our specialists all work together to tailor care to the needs of each newly diagnosed breast cancer patient.

Survivorship: Continuing on Your Path to Wellness

Following treatment for breast cancer, you may find your need for support is different. At the Breast Care Center, the Survivorship Program specifically addresses the needs and concerns of breast cancer patients who have completed their initial therapy. Visit the Survivorship Program page to learn more about how you might benefit from its specialized care.

The Cancer Survivorship Program also sponsors lectures and events for all who are living beyond breast cancer. To learn about other these resources, please see our Events and Survivorship Resources pages.

For urgent health issues, call the Breast Care Center at (415) 353-7070, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.