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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

    I was diagnosed Infiltrating ductal carcinoma with a .7 mm tumor and had a lumpectomy. Tumor turned out to be 3.3 mm and had invaded one lymph node. Is it common to have chemotherapy before mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Carla Braga Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      That's exactly what I'm doing! Chemo is done, it shrunk the tumor tremendously, surgery is schedule for the 25th of this month! Good luck to you!

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Have you had the onco test? That can determine whether you need chemo. I was diagnosed with.6 mm, but after my lumpectomy it was determined the size was much larger, 3.4 cm. I had to. Have a mastectomy, but because my onco test number was low I did not need chemo. Chemo is done before or after....

      more

      Have you had the onco test? That can determine whether you need chemo. I was diagnosed with.6 mm, but after my lumpectomy it was determined the size was much larger, 3.4 cm. I had to. Have a mastectomy, but because my onco test number was low I did not need chemo. Chemo is done before or after. Before is to shrink it, and after is to make sure any cancer cells are killed off. Wishing you only the best.

      1 comment
  • Christina Archambault Profile

    Is anyone else on Dexamethasone after chemo for 3 days? Does if make your mind race and make you cranky?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      They give it to me in my IV on chemo day. Yes, I can't believe the weight gain! I'm looking forward to finishing all my treatments so I can feel halfway normal again. I know I'll get the weight off later on. :)

      Comment
    • Laurie Lardner Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I take it for 4 days after chemo. It makes me so y

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I will Start Chemo in September, I have Been Praying that I will get through this and still be able too work.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 7 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous... we are all so different. Each chemo drug is different and how we react to it. One can't predict how you are going to feel. You just have to put one foot in front of another and hope you won't lose much work time. The suggestion to look into a temporary disability plan would sure...

      more

      Anonymous... we are all so different. Each chemo drug is different and how we react to it. One can't predict how you are going to feel. You just have to put one foot in front of another and hope you won't lose much work time. The suggestion to look into a temporary disability plan would sure takt a burden off of you. Chemo treatments aren't easy but some people are able to work through it. If you are not one of them, do not beat yourself up because of it. This is tough stuff. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • celien thorne Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Depends on your job setting what u do for a living physical , mental , working w the public etc .. I'm self employed have 4 kids 3 at home so I had to work " no paid sick days off", but I also took time off here n there because I felt too sick , you never know how your gonna react to chemo...

      more

      Depends on your job setting what u do for a living physical , mental , working w the public etc .. I'm self employed have 4 kids 3 at home so I had to work " no paid sick days off", but I also took time off here n there because I felt too sick , you never know how your gonna react to chemo everyone is different so take it as it goes cycle by cycle basis if u can , u can do it , stay strong !

      Comment
  • erica s Profile

    Did anyone ever try hard as nails on their nails while on taxotere to help not lift or color but just grow? I did 4 txs of A/C and 12 txs of Taxol 2 yrs ago and never had discolored I just cant get into the iceing stuff.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2010
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      You could take biotin which is a supplement available at local drugstores. It promotes healthy skin, hair and nails. Also, during my treatments, I took a prenatal vitamin for a little boost. The folic acid would help keep your nails strong. I had a successful experience during chemo in not...

      more

      You could take biotin which is a supplement available at local drugstores. It promotes healthy skin, hair and nails. Also, during my treatments, I took a prenatal vitamin for a little boost. The folic acid would help keep your nails strong. I had a successful experience during chemo in not getting sick and not having big issues with my nails. Only my thumb nails were slightly discolored.

      3 comments
    • Alison Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I used Sally he sons

      2 comments

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