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Dr. Aleix Prat, a breast cancer oncologist at Hospital Clínic, answers frequently asked questions about breast cancer.
Breast cancer is one of the cancers with the highest cure rates. The data indicate that the likelihood of being cured is around 85% for the general population, while in patients with small tumours that have specific biological characteristics and without any lymph node involvement the cure rate is well above 90%.
There is no single or best way of living with breast cancer, but some general recommendations include:
Request a second opinion in another hospital if you have any doubts about your treatment. Patients should always follow treatment in the centre and with the healthcare team they trust the most.
Discuss things with your healthcare professionals. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to resolve any doubts you may have about the disease and its treatment. Write down any doubts that come to mind in a notebook so that you do not forget them at your next appointment. Always try to attend appointments accompanied by someone else; together, you can help each other understand the information. There are always some unanswered questions – don't worry, you can ask them at the next appointment.
Keep your hopes up. There are several aspects of breast cancer that even the experts cannot predict, such as how you will respond to treatment and how the disease will evolve. You are recommended to ignore the statistics as they do not establish how each individual case will develop. Therefore, at each appointment, you should gather as much information as possible about how your treatment is progressing and your test results.