Breast Cancer


  • Diagnostic tests will include a physical exam, biopsy, and mammogram. Following the initial diagnosis, ultrasound, bone scan, chest x-ray, liver scan are often performed.
  • The decision for treatment is very complex, and often confusing. Be sure all options are explained and that the risks and benefits of each are thoroughly understood. It is important for you to be an informed and participating member of your health care team.
  • Surgery (mastectomy) to remove the lump, or breast, lymph glands, and lymphatic channels and muscles under the breast.
  • Other treatment options include radiation therapy, hormonal or chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant (still experimental).


  • For minor discomfort during treatment, you may use nonprescription drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin.
  • Other drugs that may be prescribed:

Pain relieves.

  • Anticancer drugs, such as fluorouracil, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, chlorambucil, vincristine, doxorubicin or melphalan.
  • Hormones (male and female).
  • Cortisone drugs.


  • If surgery is performed, resume your normal activities gradually.
  • Exercise for rehabilitation following surgery will depend on how much tissue has been removed and your general physical condition.


No special diet. Maintain good nutrition.


  • You or family member discovers a lump or other change in the breast.

The following occur after treatment or surgery:

  • Nausea, or vomiting, fever, swelling in the arm.
  • Pain that is not controlled by medication.

New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects