NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer – Locally Advanced (STAGE III)
Distress is an unpleasant experience of a mental,
physical, social, or spiritual nature. It can affect how
you feel, think, and act. It can include feelings of
sadness, fear, helplessness, worry, anger, guilt, and
so forth. Everyone with cancer has some distress at
some point in time. It is to be expected.
Feeling distressed may be a minor problem or it
may be more serious. You may be so distressed that
you can’t do the things you used to do. Serious or
not, it is important that your treatment team knows
how you feel. They may ask you to complete a list
of screening questions to assess how distressed
you are. Read theNCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Distress
to learn more.
If needed, your treatment team can get you help.
Help can include support groups, talk therapy,
or medication. Some people also feel better by
exercising, talking with loved ones, or relaxing. There
may also be helpful community resources, such as
support groups and wellness centers.
A medical history is a report of all health events
in your lifetime. It will include questions about
your family’s health to help assess if you have
hereditary breast cancer.
Your doctor will examine your body for signs of
disease. He or she will touch parts of your body,
including your breasts, to see if anything feels
Imaging tests allow your doctor to see how far
the cancer has spread without cutting into your
Some breast cancers consist of cells with too
many hormone receptors, HER2s, or both.
These features are used to plan treatment.
Blood tests may be done to look for signs of
cancer outside of your breast.
Genetic counseling may help you decide
whether to be tested for hereditary breast
Fertility counseling may be helpful with planning
to have a baby after treatment.
You should be screened for distress so you can
receive help if needed.