Breast Cancer Options Stage 3b
Treatment for stage 3B breast cancer:
- Hormone therapy if hormone receptor positive
- Women who respond well to chemotherapy may be candidates for lumpectomy to remove only the cancer and some surrounding breast tissue, followed by lymph node removal and radiation therapy
- Women who do not respond well to chemotherapy may be candidates for total mastectomy, followed by lymph node removal and radiation therapy.
Important factors that influence decision making:
- A history of endometrial cancer makes hormone therapy risky.
- A history of stroke, DVT or pulmonary embolism makes tamoxifen therapy more risky.
- A history of vision problems or retinal disease makes tamoxifen therapy more risky.
- Being pregnant limits drug and hormone therapy options.
- Breast feeding limits drug and hormone therapy options.
- Having had your ovaries removed makes hormone therapy unnecessary.
- Having had your uterus removed makes hormone therapy less risky.
- Hormone receptor status: hormone therapy is not an option if the tumor is estrogen receptor negative.
- Hormone therapy can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Hormone therapy recipients will need close follow-up to make sure they do not develop uterine cancer.
- The desire to get pregnant makes tamoxifen therapy more risky, because it can cause birth defects.
Continue to Breast Cancer Options Stage 3c
- Aiello EJ, Buist DS, White E, Seger D, Taplin SH. Rate of breast cancer diagnoses among postmenopausal women with self-reported breast symptoms. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2004 Nov-Dec;17(6):408-15. 
- Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer: Breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy: collaborative reanalysis of data from 51 epidemiological studies of 52,705 women with breast cancer and 108,411 women without breast cancer. Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Lancet 1997 Oct 11; 350(9084): 1047-59. 
- Giordano SH. A review of the diagnosis and management of male breast cancer. Oncologist. 2005 Aug;10(7):471-9.