Your team of doctors will most likely recommend a particular sequence of treatment. Here is the most common "pathway":
- Usually surgery is first. For some women, surgery to remove the breast cancer and surgery to reconstruct the breast happen during the same operation.
- If chemotherapy is going to be part of your care, it is often given second.
- Radiation therapy usually follows surgery and chemotherapy (when chemotherapy is given).
- A hormonal therapy (such as tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor) is often started after the other treatments have been given if the cancer is hormone-receptor positive.
There are many exceptions to this sequence, however, or other treatments given. There are also many other variations in timing and sequence.