loading... close

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

    Can choose to have rad. of R breast on abdomen or back. Doc. says no preference because exposure of lungs on back is low % of lung tissue. Any thoughts ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • T H Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      That would be prone position facing down. My center does not have that type of radiation machine. So I am doing it on my back to my R breast. I would of preferred to have it in the prone position. Google it you will find info on it. I just finished 27 of 33 I start 7 boost tomorrow "yippie" then...

      more

      That would be prone position facing down. My center does not have that type of radiation machine. So I am doing it on my back to my R breast. I would of preferred to have it in the prone position. Google it you will find info on it. I just finished 27 of 33 I start 7 boost tomorrow "yippie" then I will be done with my radiation. I am pink my skin has do e very well. So glad... Good luck... Hugs to ya Tena

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      No choice either. 30 treatments 7 boosts I did ok

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Should I go under Chemotherapy if I have stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma er(-), PR(-), her2(-), Ki-67 (positive) and the tutor was under 2X2 cm..Isn't it better just to do a radiation therapy?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      TNBC is aggressive. The only treatment is chemo and rads. I also am Triple Negative. Did 6 treatments of chemo. It has been two years and am still NED!!

      Comment
    • Fats ferreira Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Chemo is almost always a must with tnbc... go to tnbcfoundation.org A forumn dedicated to tnbc. Will be very helpful. God Bless xxxxx

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    If it was really bad do you think my team would tell me? I'm waiting to get information on my cancer stage as I'm having chemo first. I do know that the grade is 2 and I have at least 1 node affected, a mixed dx in the same breast. My CT scan is clear.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Now I understand why your team is putting off the staging until after your preliminary treatment as they are expecting the tumor to shrink. It makes perfect sense. Hang in there and hopefully that tumor will get a whole lot smaller. Please keep in touch with us. Big hugs and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      There are actually different circumstances where oncologists would recommend chemo 1st. Many, many, reasons that don't paint a bleak picture in the least. As for hiding something from you.... I do not think they do that. When I was having my biopsy, the doctor told me to "expect this to come...

      more

      There are actually different circumstances where oncologists would recommend chemo 1st. Many, many, reasons that don't paint a bleak picture in the least. As for hiding something from you.... I do not think they do that. When I was having my biopsy, the doctor told me to "expect this to come back as breast cancer..." There was nothing "warm and fuzzy" about her statement.
      The next time you have an appointment with him/her, take a friend, or relative with you. They can be your scribe and take notes. Your job is to ask questions and get answers. I really believe lack of information is the most terrifying thing about having breast cancer. I remember when I heard all of the facts, including the pathology report, I finally knew all the answers to all my questions. I knew how we were going to proceed and the treatment plan was in full view. There was something much more reassuring and almost comfortable in finally having that knowledge. Please stay in touch with us here. We have all been where you are and really want to support our sisters in this journey. You will be ok... it is just one foot in front of the other and one appointment at a time.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Sandy MacDonald Profile

    Has anyone used Biotin for hair growth after chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Yes, I take a pill everyday. I also use Nioxon shampoo and I am pleased with how fast my hair is growing back. I believe in it. Good luck.

      Comment
    • Cathy Wadkins Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Take 5000 mg from Walmarts and have a salon put a protein treatment in every 6 weeks and get your salon to buy the Bosley shampoo, conditioner, the 3 rd and the 4 th step as well I have nee

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 3

Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

spread the word