Hvernig geturðu fylgst með?

First, you need to gather information from reliable sources such as breastcancer.org. Checking in regularly with breastcancer.org or another reliable Web site will keep you informed of any major new developments.

Then, share any new information with the doctors you see regularly. This may be one or several of your oncologists (cancer doctors) or your family doctor. If you've been seeing these doctors regularly over time, they will know your situation and be able to best help you understand how a new test or treatment may apply to you.

Gathering Information

You hear about new advances in breast cancer treatment all the time — in the news, on TV, over the Internet, and from friends and relations. But what's dependable and what isn't? What should you pay attention to and what can you ignore?

  • National news organizations may carry some generally correct information. But network TV stations, popular magazines, and newspapers tend to focus on highlights and might not present the full story. You'll probably need a deeper understanding of the research and the type of new therapy to figure out how it might relate to you.
  • Things you see on TV, hear on the radio, or read in the newspaper can have a slant to them. Sometimes they present "brand new" information that has actually been around for a long time. And the media have a tendency to present mostly positive results — for example, "a new treatment shows improvement" — and less likely to present "negative" results — such as "side effects of existing therapy were more significant than first thought." Do keep your ears open, and ask your doctor if you think something may apply to your situation.
  • Web sites like breastcancer.org, with reliable information reviewed by medical experts, can be extremely helpful in sorting out information you may get from elsewhere. Other reliable resources include the Web sites of the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
  • At breastcancer.org, we continually revise and update our information so it is cutting-edge, complete, and up-to-date. And we try to explain what impact any new information might have for YOU.
    • Check out our Research News reports.
    • Join our monthly Ask-the-Expert Conferences, conducted live and online or available afterwards as transcripts. Get answers from experts on important breast cancer–related topics.
    • Read our detailed, easy-to-understand sections on all aspects of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Sharing Information with Your Doctor

If you hear or read about a development that sounds as if it might apply to you, talk to your doctor about it. He or she is your best resource on advances in breast cancer treatment that might be meaningful to you.

When you discuss a new development with your doctor, you might find that you are a good candidate for a new therapy. This does not mean, however, that you will have to go through difficult treatment all over again.

Dr. Kathy Miller, Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology at Indiana University School of Medicine and a leading researcher on new breast cancer treatments, explains: "We're not going to go back and recommend that someone who's been without disease for six years have more chemotherapy. But patients who have finished treatment may benefit from new advances as we learn more about optimal durations of hormonal therapy, the benefits of switching from one drug to another, and extending the time of hormonal therapy."

Your doctors will be most able to help you understand new testing and treatment options if you've been seeing them on a regular basis.