Treatment for breast cancer is a long-term commitment. Initial treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can require trips to the hospital or doctor’s office for several months. You also may need to take medications for up to 5 or even 10 additional years to lower the risk that the cancer will come back.
You’ll get the best results from treatment when you follow your plan completely and on schedule. Doctors often call this "full compliance" or "full adherence." Staying on track can be challenging, though, especially after the first few months.
There are many different reasons why people may not follow their treatment plan as well as they should. Remember that these are common problems: If you're having them, you're not alone! But the more you stay on track, the more the treatment is likely to benefit you.
In this section, you can read more about these common problems and how to overcome them:
- Side Effects That Interfere With Your Treatment Plan
- Forgetting to Take Medication
- Missing Appointments
- Scheduling Challenges
- Depression or Feeling Unmotivated
- Communication With Healthcare Providers
- Financial Issues
To talk with others about sticking to your treatment plan, visit the Breastcancer.org Discussion Board Help Me Get Through Treatment forum.
The medical experts for Staying on Track with Treatment are:
- Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H., medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist, University of Rochester Cancer Center, Rochester, NY
- Ann H. Partridge, M.D., M.P.H., medical oncologist, hematologist, and breast cancer specialist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
- Marisa Weiss, M.D., chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org; breast radiation oncologist, Lankenau Medical Center, part of Main Line Health, a five-hospital health system in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA
These experts are members of the Breastcancer.org Professional Advisory Board, including more than 70 medical experts in breast cancer-related fields.
This section is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca.