Breast Cancer in Men: Types of Treatment

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2019

ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for men with breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.

This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for men with breast cancer. “Standard of care” means the best treatments known. When making treatment plan decisions, you are encouraged to consider clinical trials as an option. A clinical trial is a research study that tests a new approach to treatment. Doctors want to learn whether the new treatment is safe, effective, and possibly better than the standard treatment. Clinical trials can test a new drug, a new combination of standard treatments, or new doses of standard drugs or other treatments. Clinical trials are an option to consider for treatment and care for all stages of cancer. Your doctor can help you consider all your treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials in the About Clinical Trials and Latest Research sections of this guide.

Treatment overview

In cancer care, doctors specializing in different areas of cancer treatment work together to create a patient’s overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, nutritionists, and others.

The biology and behavior of a breast cancer affects the treatment plan. Some tumors are small but grow fast, while others are large and grow slowly. Treatment options and recommendations are very personalized and depend on several factors, including:

  • The stage of the tumor

  • The tumor’s subtype, including hormone receptor status (ER, PR) and HER2 status (see Introduction)

  • Genomic markers, such as Oncotype DX™ or Mammaprint™ (See Diagnosis)

  • The patient’s age, general health, and preferences

  • The presence of known mutations in inherited breast cancer genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2

Even though the breast cancer care team will specifically tailor the treatment for each patient and the breast cancer, there are some general steps for treating breast cancer.

For both DCIS and early-stage invasive breast cancer, doctors generally recommend surgery to remove the tumor as the first treatment. To make sure that the entire tumor is removed, the surgeon will also remove a small area of healthy tissue around the tumor. Although the goal of surgery is to remove all of the visible cancer, microscopic cells can remain after surgery, either in the breast or elsewhere. In some situations, this means that another surgery could be needed to remove remaining cancer cells.

For larger cancers, or those that are growing more quickly, doctors may recommend systemic treatment with chemotherapy or hormonal therapy before surgery, called neoadjuvant or preoperative therapy. There may be several benefits to having other treatments before surgery:

  • Surgery may be easier to perform afterwards

  • Your doctor may find out if certain treatments work well for the cancer

  • You may also be able to try a new treatment through a clinical trial

After surgery, the next step in managing early-stage breast cancer is to lower the risk of recurrence and to get rid of any remaining cancer cells. If present, these cancer cells are undetectable but are believed to be responsible for both local and distant recurrence of cancer.

Treatment given after surgery is called adjuvant therapy. Adjuvant therapies may include:

  • Radiation therapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Targeted therapy

  • Hormonal therapy

Whether adjuvant therapy is needed depends on whether any cancer cells could still be in the breast or body and how well a specific treatment will work to treat the cancer. The choice of adjuvant therapy depends on the cancer’s stage, features, and a patient’s health and preferences. Although adjuvant therapy lowers the risk of recurrence, there may still be some risk of recurrence.

Along with staging, other tools can help estimate prognosis and help you and your doctor make decisions about adjuvant therapy. There are also tests that can predict the risk of recurrence for your specific tumor by testing the tumor tissue (see Diagnosis). These may also be used to better understand the risks from the cancer and whether chemotherapy will help reduce those risks.

Descriptions of the common types of treatments used for breast cancer in men are listed below. Your care plan also includes treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care. Take time to learn about all of your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Talk with your doctor about the goals of each treatment and what you can expect during and after treatment. These types of talks are called “shared decision making.” Shared decision making is when you and your doctors work together to choose treatments that fit the goals of your care. Shared decision making is particularly important for breast cancer because there are different treatment options. Learn more about making treatment decisions.


Surgery is the removal of the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue during an operation. Surgery is also used to examine the nearby underarm or axillary lymph nodes. A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with surgery. Learn more about the basics of cancer surgery.

  • A lumpectomy is the removal of the tumor and a small, cancer-free margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. Because men do not have much breast tissue, a lumpectomy may not be an option.

  • A mastectomy is the surgical removal of the entire breast. This procedure is more commonly performed in men.

When surgery to remove the cancer is not possible, it is called inoperable. The doctor will then recommend treating the cancer in other ways. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and/or hormonal therapy may be given to shrink the cancer (see below).

Lymph node removal and analysis

Cancer cells can be found in the axillary lymph nodes in some cancers. It is important to find out whether any of the lymph nodes near the breast contain cancer. This information is used to determine treatment and prognosis. Most patients with invasive cancer will have either a sentinel lymph node biopsy or an axillary lymph node dissection.

  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy. The sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure allows for the removal of a small number of axillary lymph nodes, avoiding the removal of multiple lymph nodes in an axillary lymph node dissection (see below). The smaller lymph node procedure helps lower the risk of several possible side effects, including swelling of the arm called lymphedema, the risk of numbness, and arm movement and range-of-motion problems. Such side effects are long-lasting issues that can severely affect a person’s quality of life.

    In a sentinel lymph node biopsy, the surgeon finds and removes a small number of sentinel lymph nodes from under the arm that receives lymph drainage from the breast. The pathologist then examines these lymph nodes for cancer cells. To find the sentinel lymph node, the surgeon injects a dye and/or a radioactive tracer into the area of the cancer and/or around the nipple. The dye or tracer travels to the lymph nodes, arriving at the sentinel node first. The surgeon can find the lymph node when it turns color if the dye is used or gives off radiation if the tracer is used.

    If the sentinel lymph node is cancer-free, research has shown that it is likely that the remaining lymph nodes will also be free of cancer and no further surgery is needed. If the sentinel lymph node shows that there is cancer, the surgeon may perform an axillary lymph node dissection to remove more lymph nodes to look for cancer, depending on the stage of the cancer, the features of the tumor, and the amount of cancer in the sentinel lymph nodes. Find out more about ASCO's recommendations for sentinel lymph node biopsy.

  • Axillary lymph node dissection. In an axillary lymph node dissection, the surgeon removes more lymph nodes from under the arm, which are then examined by a pathologist for cancer cells. The actual number of lymph nodes removed varies from person to person. If cancer is found in the sentinel lymph node, whether more surgery is needed to remove additional lymph nodes varies depending on the specific situation.

Summary of surgical options

To summarize, surgical treatment options include the following:

  • Removal of cancer in the breast: Lumpectomy or mastectomy

  • Lymph node evaluation: Sentinel lymph node biopsy and/or axillary lymph node dissection

Before surgery, talk with your health care team about the possible side effects from the specific surgery you will have. A potential and significant side effect of breast cancer surgery is lymphedema, which can occur when axillary lymph nodes are removed or damaged during surgery. Because the lymph nodes are part of the channels that drain the lymphatic fluid from the arm, damage to the area may hold back the flow of lymphatic fluid and cause it to back up in the arm. The use of sentinel node biopsy instead of axillary lymph node dissection reduces the risk of lymphedema.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to kill cancer cells. A doctor who specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer is called a radiation oncologist. A radiation therapy regimen, or schedule, usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time.

The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body. When radiation treatment is given using a probe in the operating room, it is called intra-operative radiation therapy. When radiation therapy is given by placing radioactive sources into the tumor, it is called brachytherapy. Although the research results are encouraging, intra-operative radiation therapy and brachytherapy are not widely used for breast cancer. These types of radiation therapy are typically only used for a small cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes. Learn more about the basics of radiation therapy.

Adjuvant (after surgery) radiation therapy is recommended for some men depending on the type of surgery, the size of their tumor, the number of cancerous lymph nodes under the arm, and the width of the tissue margin around the tumor removed by the surgeon.

Radiation therapy can cause side effects, including fatigue, swelling of the breast, redness and/or skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation and pain or burning in the skin where the radiation was directed, sometimes with blistering or peeling. Very rarely, a small amount of the lung can be affected by the radiation, causing pneumonitis, a radiation-related swelling of the lung tissue. This risk depends on the size of the area that received radiation therapy, and it tends to heal with time. In the past, with older equipment and radiation therapy techniques, people who received treatment for breast cancer on the left side of the body had a small increase in the long-term risk of heart disease. Modern techniques are now able to spare most of the heart from the effects of radiation therapy.

Therapies using medication

Systemic therapy is the use of medication to destroy cancer cells. This type of medication is given through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Systemic therapies are generally prescribed by a medical oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication.

Common ways to give systemic therapies include an intravenous (IV) tube placed into a vein using a needle or in a pill or capsule that is swallowed (orally).

The types of systemic therapies used for breast cancer include:

  • Chemotherapy

  • Hormonal therapy

  • Targeted therapy

  • Immunotherapy

Each of these types of therapies is discussed below in more detail. A person may receive 1 type of systemic therapy at a time or a combination of systemic therapies given at the same time. They can also be given as part of a treatment plan that includes surgery and/or radiation therapy.

The medications used to treat cancer are continually being evaluated. Talking with your doctor is often the best way to learn about the medications prescribed for you, their purpose, and their potential side effects or interactions with other medications. It is also important to let your doctor know if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements. Herbs, supplements, and other drugs can interact with cancer medications. Learn more about your prescriptions by using searchable drug databases.


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by keeping the cancer cells from growing, dividing, and making more cells.

Chemotherapy may be given before surgery to shrink a large tumor and make surgery easier, called neoadjuvant or preoperative chemotherapy. It may also be given after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence, called adjuvant chemotherapy.

A chemotherapy regimen, or schedule, consists of a specific treatment schedule of drugs given at repeating intervals for a set period of time. Chemotherapy may be given on many different schedules depending on what worked best in clinical trials for that specific type of regimen. It may be given once a week, once every 2 weeks, once every 3 weeks, or even once every 4 weeks. Common types of chemotherapy for breast cancer include:

  • Capecitabine (Xeloda)

  • Carboplatin (available as a generic drug)

  • Cisplatin (available as a generic drug)

  • Cyclophosphamide (available as a generic drug)

  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)

  • Doxorubicin (available as a generic drug)

  • Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil)

  • Epirubicin (Ellence)

  • Eribulin (Halaven)

  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)

  • Gemcitabine (Gemzar)

  • Ixabepilone (Ixempra)

  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)

  • Paclitaxel (Taxol)

  • Protein-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane)

  • Vinorelbine (Navelbine)

A patient may receive 1 drug at a time or combinations of different drugs given at the same time. Research has shown that combinations of certain drugs are sometimes more effective than single drugs for adjuvant treatment. The following combinations of drugs may be used as adjuvant therapy to treat breast cancer:

  • AC (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide)

  • AC or EC (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide or epirubicin and cyclophosphamide) followed by T (paclitaxel or docetaxel)

  • CAF (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and 5-FU)

  • CEF (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and 5-FU)

  • CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-FU)

  • EC (epirubicin and cyclophosphamide)

  • TAC (docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide)

  • TC (docetaxel and cyclophosphamide)

Therapies that target the HER2 receptor may be given with chemotherapy for HER2-positive breast cancer (see Targeted therapy, below).

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the individual, the drug(s) used, and the schedule and dose. These side effects can include fatigue, risk of infection, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, numbness and tingling, and diarrhea or constipation. These side effects can often be very successfully prevented or managed during treatment with supportive medications, and they usually go away after treatment is finished. Rarely, long-term side effects may occur, such as heart damage, nerve damage, or secondary cancers. Many patients feel well during chemotherapy and are active taking care of their families, working, and exercising during treatment. But each person’s experience is different. Talk with your health care team about the possible side effects of your specific chemotherapy plan.

Learn more about the basics of chemotherapy.

Hormonal therapy (updated 02/2020)

Hormonal therapy, also called endocrine therapy, is a very important treatment for tumors that test positive for either estrogen or progesterone receptors (called ER positive or PR positive; see Introduction). Hormone receptor-positive tumors use hormones to fuel their growth. Blocking the body’s hormones may then slow the growth of the tumor and kill the cancer cells. Because many men with breast cancer have ER-positive disease, hormonal therapy is often part of the treatment plan.

ASCO recommends that men who have had surgery to remove a hormone receptor-positive breast cancer receive hormonal therapy for at least 5 years. It may be taken for up to 10 years, especially if the cancer has a higher risk of returning. How long to continue hormonal therapy depends on the stage of cancer, the risk of it returning, and any side effects patients experience.

Hormonal therapy options for men include:

  • Tamoxifen (available as a generic drug) is the primary hormonal therapy that ASCO recommends for men with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen from binding to breast cancer cells. If a man with breast cancer has taken tamoxifen for 5 years without serious side effects and still has a high risk of the cancer coming back, 5 more years of tamoxifen therapy may be offered.

  • Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) include anastrozole (Arimidex), exemestane (Aromasin), and letrozole (Femara). AIs decrease the amount of estrogen made by the body. This type of treatment is effective in treating breast cancer in postmenopausal women, but there is not much information on AI use for men with breast cancer. Caution is urged in using aromatase inhibitors in men who still have their testicles (testes), as these treatments could cause androgen levels to increase. If an aromatase inhibitor is used, an additional injection medication to decrease androgen production may be offered as well.

  • Fulvestrant (Faslodex) is a drug that is given by injection once a month. It is used to treat metastatic breast cancer. It stops estrogen from helping a cancer grow in a way that is different from tamoxifen. Like aromatase inhibitors, there is not much information on its use for men, but research has shown that it may be effective.

Side effects of hormonal therapy can include hot flashes, decreased sexual desire or ability, leg cramps, mood swings, and blood clots.

Men with breast cancer should not receive testosterone or androgen supplementation.

This information is based on ASCO recommendations for Management of Male Breast Cancer. Please note that this link takes you to another ASCO website.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. These treatments are very focused and work differently than chemotherapy. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells.

Not all tumors have the same targets. To find the most effective treatment, your doctor may run tests to identify the genes, proteins, and other factors in your tumor. In addition, research studies continue to find out more about specific molecular targets and new treatments directed at them. Learn more about the basics of targeted treatments.

The first approved targeted therapies for breast cancer were hormonal therapies. Then, HER2 targeted therapies were approved to treat HER2-positive breast cancer. Targeted therapies are also used to treat metastatic breast cancer.

HER2 targeted therapy
  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin, Herzuma, Ogivri, Ontruzant). This drug is approved as an adjuvant therapy for non-metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. Currently, most patients with stage I to stage III breast cancer (see Stages) should receive a trastuzumab-based regimen often including a combination of trastuzumab with chemotherapy, followed by 1 year of adjuvant trastuzumab. Patients receiving trastuzumab have a small (2% to 5%) risk of heart problems. This risk is increased if a patient has other risk factors for heart disease or receives chemotherapy that also increases the risk of heart problems at the same time. These heart problems may go away and can be treatable with medication.

  • Pertuzumab (Perjeta). This drug is approved for stage II and stage III breast cancer in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy.

  • Neratinib (Nerlynx). This oral drug is approved as a treatment for higher-risk HER2-positive, early-stage breast cancer. It is taken for a year, starting after patients have finished 1 year of trastuzumab.

  • Ado-trastuzumab emtansine or T-DM1 (Kadcyla). This is approved for the treatment of patients with early-stage breast cancer who have had treatment with trastuzumab and chemotherapy with either paclitaxel or docetaxel followed by surgery, and who had cancer remaining (or present) at the time of surgery. T-DM1 is a combination of trastuzumab linked to very small amount of a strong chemotherapy. This allows the drug to deliver chemotherapy into the cancer cell while lessening the chemotherapy received by healthy cells. T-DM1 is given by vein every 3 weeks.

Combination regimens for HER2-positive breast cancer may include:

  • AC-TH (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, paclitaxel, trastuzumab)

  • AC-THP (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, paclitaxel, trastuzumab, pertuzumab)

  • TCHP (docetaxel or paclitaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab, pertuzumab)

  • TCH (docetaxel or paclitaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab)

  • TH (paclitaxel, trastuzumab)

Talk with your doctor about possible side effects for a specific medication and how they can be managed.

Bone modifying drugs (updated 02/2020)

Bone modifying drugs block bone destruction and help strengthen bone. They are mainly used to treat cancer that has spread to the bone. Certain types are also used in low doses to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the thinning of the bones. ASCO recommends that men with early-stage breast cancer that has not spread to the bone should not be treated with bone modifying drugs to prevent recurrence, but they could receive these drugs to prevent or treat osteoporosis.

There are 2 types of drugs that block bone destruction:

  • Bisphosphonates. These block the cells that destroy bone, called osteoclasts. Bisphosphonates include the medicines zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa), alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva).

  • Denosumab (Prolia, Xgeva). An osteoclast-targeted therapy called a RANK ligand inhibitor.

Other types of targeted therapy for breast cancer

You may have other targeted therapy options for breast cancer treatment, depending on several factors. Many of the following drugs are used for advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

  • Alpelisib (Piqray). Alpelisib is an option along with the hormonal therapy fulvestrant for men and women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer that has a PIK3CA gene mutation and has worsened during or after hormonal therapy.

  • Drugs that target the CDK4/6 protein in breast cancer cells, which may stimulate cancer cell growth. These drugs include abemaciclib (Verzenio), palbociclib (Ibrance), and ribociclib (Kisqali). They are approved for ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer and may be combined with some types of hormonal therapy.

  • Lapatinib (Tykerb) for HER2-positive advanced or metastatic breast cancer when other medications are no longer effective at controlling the cancer’s growth. It may be combined with the chemotherapy capecitabine, the hormonal therapy letrozole, or the HER2 targeted therapy trastuzumab.

  • Larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) for breast cancer with an NTRK fusion that is metastatic or cannot be removed with surgery and has worsened with other treatments.

  • Olaparib (Lynparza). This oral drug may be used for patients with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer and a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation who have previously received chemotherapy. It is a type of drug called a PARP inhibitor, which destroys cancer cells by preventing them from fixing damage.

  • Talazoparib (Talzenna) for locally advanced or metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer and a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.


Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is designed to boost the body's natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function.

  • Atezolizumab (Tecentriq). In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a combination of atezolizumab plus protein-bound paclitaxel (see Chemotherapy, above) for locally advanced triple-negative breast cancer that cannot be removed with surgery and metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. In addition, it is only approved for breast cancers that test positive for PD-L1 (see Diagnosis).

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda). This is a type of immunotherapy that is approved by the FDA to treat metastatic cancer or cancer that cannot be treated with surgery. These tumors must also have a molecular alteration called microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or DNA mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR).

Different types of immunotherapy can cause different side effects. Common side effects include skin reactions, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, and weight changes. Talk with your doctor about possible side effects for the immunotherapy recommended for you. Learn more about the basics of immunotherapy.

Physical, emotional, and social effects of cancer

Cancer and its treatment cause physical symptoms and side effects, as well as emotional, social, and financial effects. Managing all of these effects is called palliative care or supportive care. It is an important part of your care that is included along with treatments intended to slow, stop, or eliminate the cancer.

Palliative care focuses on improving how you feel during treatment by managing symptoms and supporting patients and their families with other, non-medical needs. Any person, regardless of age or type and stage of cancer, may receive this type of care. And it often works best when it is started right after a cancer diagnosis. People who receive palliative care along with treatment for the cancer often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report they are more satisfied with treatment.

Palliative treatments vary widely and often include medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional and spiritual support, and other therapies. You may also receive palliative treatments similar to those meant to get rid of the cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.

Before treatment begins, talk with your doctor about the goals of each treatment in the treatment plan. You should also talk about the possible side effects of the specific treatment plan and palliative care options.

During treatment, your health care team may ask you to answer questions about your symptoms and side effects and to describe each problem. Be sure to tell the health care team if you are experiencing a problem. This helps the health care team treat any symptoms and side effects as quickly as possible. It can also help prevent more serious problems in the future.

Learn more about the importance of tracking side effects in another part of this guide. Learn more about palliative care in a separate section of this website.

Recurrent breast cancer

If the cancer returns after treatment for early-stage disease, it is called recurrent cancer. When breast cancer recurs, it may come back in the following parts of the body:

  • The same place as the original cancer, which is called a local recurrence.

  • The chest wall or lymph nodes under the arm or in the chest. This is called a locoregional recurrence.

  • A location distant from the breast, including organs such as the bones, lungs, liver, and brain. This is called a distant recurrence or a metastatic recurrence.

When breast cancer recurs, a new cycle of testing will begin again to learn as much as possible about the recurrence. Testing may include imaging tests, such as those discussed in the Diagnosis section. In addition, a biopsy may be needed to confirm the breast cancer recurrence and learn about the features of the cancer.

After this testing is done, you and your doctor will talk about the treatment options. The treatment plan may include some of the treatments described above, such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormonal therapy, but they may be used in a different combination or at a different pace. The treatment options for recurrent breast cancer depend on the following factors:

  • Previous treatment(s) for the original cancer

  • Time since the original diagnosis

  • Location of the recurrence

  • Characteristics of the tumor, such as ER, PR, and HER2 status

A local recurrence may be considered curable with further treatment. A metastatic (distant) recurrence is generally considered incurable, but it is treatable. Some patients live for years after a metastatic recurrence of breast cancer.

Whichever treatment plan you choose, palliative care will be important for relieving symptoms and side effects. Your doctor may suggest clinical trials that are studying new ways to treat this type of recurrent cancer.

People with recurrent breast cancer often experience emotions such as disbelief or fear. You are encouraged to talk with the health care team about these feelings and ask about support services to help you cope. Learn more about dealing with cancer recurrence.

If treatment does not work

Recovery from cancer is not always possible. If the cancer cannot be cured or controlled, the focus of care may switch to trying to help a patient live as well as possible with the cancer.

This diagnosis is stressful, and for many people, advanced cancer is difficult to discuss. However, it is important to have open and honest conversations with your health care team to express your feelings, preferences, and concerns. The health care team has special skills, experience, and knowledge to support patients and their families and is there to help. Making sure a person is physically comfortable and emotionally supported is extremely important.

People who have advanced cancer and who are expected to live less than 6 months may want to consider hospice care. Hospice care is designed to provide the best possible quality of life for people who are near the end of life. You and your family are encouraged to talk with the health care team about hospice care options, which include hospice care at home, a special hospice center, or other health care locations. Nursing care and special equipment can make staying at home a workable and preferable option for many families. Learn more about advanced cancer care planning.

After the death of a loved one, many people need support to help them cope with the loss. Learn more about grief and loss.

The next section in this guide is About Clinical Trials. It offers more information about research studies that are focused on finding better ways to care for people with cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.