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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    With everyone talking about gaining weight on the steroids, are the majority of people taking them long term, or just 12 hours before and then 6 hours before the chemo infusion?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    about 8 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi, I think ppl are concerned because there are many articles linking being overweight to cancer. However I've had 4 rounds of A/C and 7 rounds of Taxol and haven't gained. I've been given a steroid before each treatment. Usually there is a half an hour between the steroid and the chemo. I also...

      more

      Hi, I think ppl are concerned because there are many articles linking being overweight to cancer. However I've had 4 rounds of A/C and 7 rounds of Taxol and haven't gained. I've been given a steroid before each treatment. Usually there is a half an hour between the steroid and the chemo. I also had to take a 6 day course of predisone because I had a light reaction to the Taxol. I'm overweight but have lost 20 lbs since the end of Dec when my treatment began. Actually I would never consider dieting while on chemo. Even the doctors are against it. I was in the mind set to help my body get through all of the procedures so I really thought about fueling my body not just eating. Drinking 3 liters of water helped a lot. I hope I helped. It's a fight and we need strong weapons. I thank this site and the women who take their precious time to help and support all of us who are on the bc journey. With best wishes for all, jayme

      Comment
    • Nikol Vega Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a 27 minute drip of steroid about 30 minutes prior to my infusion.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Stage 1 Invasive ductal carcinoma triple + anyone else got this

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Triple positive or triple negative? Sorry I didn't see the +sign before I wrote but don't think it was there or I wouldn't have asked.

      5 comments
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine was stage three.

      1 comment
  • Joellen Wolfson Profile

    What type of treatments are available after a lumpectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Usually a lumpectomy is followed by chemo (if the tumor was large enough or there was nodal involvement) or radiation (if you didn't need chemo or did the chemo first). I don't think the lumpectomy is ever done in isolation. Something else needs to be done in conjunction.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I agree with Erin. There is radiation and possibly chemotherapy, as Erin says, if there is lymph node involvement. I have never heard of just a lumpectomy.... there is just too much chance of a few cancer cells wandering around that need to be cleared up.
      Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone had any experience with Penguin cold caps and chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I don't personally....but there is a discussion board on that topic that I'm sure will help you. Just go to breastcancer.org then click on discussion. There are a wide range of breast cancer topics that are discussed there. :)

      Comment

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