As I near a decade (how the hell did that happen?) since I was diagnosed, I have noticed how much breast cancer treatment has changed in the ensuing years. When I was diagnosed, it was slash, poison, burn. There was potential new treatment in the future but it was looming years ahead.
I remember being in a support group meeting and we were all overjoyed to be told that cancer was now being treated as a chronic as opposed to being a terminal disease. That was a great shift in the treatment protocol in our minds. We still mentally held our hands as our friends went through chemo, radiation and surgery. We hoped for treatment advances that were 'promised' somewhere off in the hazy future.
Now all of a sudden, I realize that I know several women who were treated for their late stage breast cancer, not with surgery, chemo or radiation, but with oral treatment. They are treated with Femara (letrozole) by itself or with Faslodex or, most recently, Ibrance.
Also in the past, Herceptin was raved about as a new and safe treatment for Her-2+ patients. And now there is even a second option of Perjeta for those women.
While progress has been made and I still look forward to more progress. I want cancer to be treated as an acute disease - meaning it comes on, is treated, and almost everyone is cured and goes on with their lives.