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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 8 - Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a treatment method that uses a combination of drugs to either destroy cancer cells or slow cancer cell growth. Cytotoxic drugs (meaning “toxic to cells”) are taken intravenously (through the bloodstream) or orally. Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy, meaning that the drugs travel in the bloodstream through the entire body.

Chemotherapy is offered to most patients based on several factors: tumor type, grade, size, receptor status, lymph node involvement and the risk for spread elsewhere. Your medical team will work to select the right blend of chemotherapy drugs to suppress each stage of the cancer cells’ growth. Chemotherapy is commonly prescribed along with other treatment methods such as hormonal and targeted therapies. It can also be used to shrink a tumor before surgery for easier and safer removal.

If you receive chemotherapy, your doctor will administer it in short courses, with several weeks in between to allow your normal cells to recover. This treatment period can be a challenging time emotionally and physically; it is important for you to develop a support team of family or friends that can help comfort and encourage you in this time.

Related Questions

  • Nadine Cancilliere Profile

    So port placement is tomorrow and chemo starts Thursday. Is this normal to start Chemo so soon after the port placement. I would have like to recoup a little before Chemo started

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    over 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Paula Byrd Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since

      Yes it is normal, and it is so much better than being stuck with an I V, the site may be a little tender, but a port is so much safer for the chemo drugs to go through because of risk of infiltration in to the tissue.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had port on Wednesday and chemo and first chemo on Thursday. It was my 37th anniversary.

      Comment
  • Christy Murphy Profile

    I just found out I have invasive ductal carcinoma, what types of treatment should I expect? And what questions should I ask?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Denise P. Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same type. It was stage 1 my doctor froze it (Cryoablation is a process that uses extreme cold (cryo) to remove tissue (ablation). Then 2-weeks later the dead tissue was surgical removed. I'm scheduled to start radiation next week. I have stayed very positive that I'm stronger than...

      more

      I had the same type. It was stage 1 my doctor froze it (Cryoablation is a process that uses extreme cold (cryo) to remove tissue (ablation). Then 2-weeks later the dead tissue was surgical removed. I'm scheduled to start radiation next week. I have stayed very positive that I'm stronger than this and I'm already winner in all I do! I hope this helps and pleas know I'm here for you. I'll forward my contact information if needed.

      1 comment
    • Stephanie Odom Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a bilateral mastectomy in July after my dx, and now wish I had considered a lumpectomy more. I really really miss having one good breast with a nipple.

      Comment
  • Carla Villa Profile

    Had my first chemo 10 days ago and am now hospitalized with "neutropenia fever"... Any one else have this happen too?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Carla, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I remember your telling me you were getting ready to begin chemo. I didn't have that experience, but I did have my white blood counts dip very low. Are you receiving the neulasta, or neupogen shot to boost your white blood cells?

      3 comments
    • Diane Joyner Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sorry to hear that you are in the hospital. :( I have experienced neutropenia fevers, I got them after almost all of my chemo treatments, but never hospitalized because of them. I had to take a pretty heavy regimen of extra strength for the fevers and the pain. Its been six days since you posted...

      more

      Sorry to hear that you are in the hospital. :( I have experienced neutropenia fevers, I got them after almost all of my chemo treatments, but never hospitalized because of them. I had to take a pretty heavy regimen of extra strength for the fevers and the pain. Its been six days since you posted your question, I hope you are home and comfortable now.

      Comment
  • Cassie Basham Profile

    Anyone fallen into the "intermediate category" on the oncotype test, and then had the EndoPredict test done to get a definite answer to benefit of chemo? My RS was 27.

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_1 Patient
    over 2 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I only had the OncoType DX test as at the time was the only one available and was told I was aiming for a number of 18 or below. I came in right at 18 and my Onc. told me I could get by without chemo. but she used another program of some sort, plugging in my info., and it said my recurrence rate...

      more

      I only had the OncoType DX test as at the time was the only one available and was told I was aiming for a number of 18 or below. I came in right at 18 and my Onc. told me I could get by without chemo. but she used another program of some sort, plugging in my info., and it said my recurrence rate would drop significantly so I chose to do chemo. and am glad I did.

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Maybe Endo is new, I've never heard of it. My onco score was 17. I had decided to have chemo if my score was over 20. I think that 26 was the number that my doctor said I must have chemo, and 19 to 25, we would have to discuss.

      Comment

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