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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

  • Denise Waters Profile

    Is love making after tomoxifim enjoyable?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years Answer
  • Savannah Workman Profile

    How is breast cancer treated at each level?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Savannah,
      If only it were that easy! Treatment depends on what is found on the pathology and other testing done. You can't just give a list for the different stages because there are different types of breast cancer. In the diagnosis, there are different conditions of cells, size of tumor,...

      more

      Savannah,
      If only it were that easy! Treatment depends on what is found on the pathology and other testing done. You can't just give a list for the different stages because there are different types of breast cancer. In the diagnosis, there are different conditions of cells, size of tumor, lymph node involvement, and aggressiveness of those cells. It also takes into consideration age, pre or post menapausal. This is what cancer research is all about. Each woman's treatment is tailor-made just for her instead of the shotgun approach. Lots of sites to read about treatments. It's a subject in which you will never find the end. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Margaret Balsamo Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Go to the Learn section, chapter 6. It's a nice overview of treatments.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I had lumpectomy& node biopsy 2 wks ago,I had lots movement after few days but was still numb,Im regaining feeling but more stiff & pain.I thought Id b back 2 more movement& hoping 2b at work.How long hav people waited b4 back2 normal? I want2 exercise!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was back at work the next week and exercising the next . I guess it depends on the surgeon, size of the lumpectomy , reaction to anesthesia, and pain tolerance. Good luck!

      3 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Dear A, My exercise regiment began with walking 15-20 minutes in the morning and evening. I was even able to do it most days during radiation(only 16 rads) if it wasn't too hot. DON'T do hot. It's painful. Not saying that this distance should be your measure-this is me. I practice ISHTA yoga...

      more

      Dear A, My exercise regiment began with walking 15-20 minutes in the morning and evening. I was even able to do it most days during radiation(only 16 rads) if it wasn't too hot. DON'T do hot. It's painful. Not saying that this distance should be your measure-this is me. I practice ISHTA yoga which is also gentle but can be as challenging as you choose it to be. It allowed me to stretch and loosen the tightness in and under my arm, across my chest, and down to my wrist. I would be shocked if you don't have that little burning that can streak down the arm and around the upper back: Cut nerves and lymph system trauma.The moment there is a hint of pain I can back off. I never push it. Learning to breathe through each motion allows me to ease into a deeper stretch each day. Glad to report I have full motion and can even do weight bearing postures without pain or weakness. It sounds like you're going to get it all going again. 99% is the want to and you've definitely got that. I'll call you Sparky. Don't let that spark of enthusiasm to get back the YOU you want to be go dim. :-D Jo

      1 comment
  • teri  fisher Profile

    I just started chemo . It has been quite a roller coaster ride! Has anyone experienced itching and red hands. It got so bad they started me on steroids. Will it get better?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      It gets better but it takes awhile. The last time my was about 6 months after my last infusion of chemo. Prednisone helped I used as a last resort when nothing else worked.

      Comment

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