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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

  • Rita Siomos Profile

    Is there any foods u can eat that will help boost your immune system during chemo ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Rita, yes there are. Livestrong.org has an awesome list of foods to eat during chemo to help boost your immune system such as oranges, turkey meat (protein is very important during chemo), whole grains, & yogurt. :) There are a few foods that you need to steer clear of when or if your counts...

      more

      Hi Rita, yes there are. Livestrong.org has an awesome list of foods to eat during chemo to help boost your immune system such as oranges, turkey meat (protein is very important during chemo), whole grains, & yogurt. :) There are a few foods that you need to steer clear of when or if your counts become low. I just added them to your previous question a bit ago! Hope this helps!

      1 comment
    • sally fakih Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Orange . Garlics . Yogurt . Honey . Soya milk it has a big role in boost your immune wish you the best xx

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    42yo. AdenoCarcinoma Grade1 est and progesterone "+".HER "-".lumpectomy ,node removed(lymph nodes"-"Oncotype low 8%.BRCA 1,2 "-". 3doctors Recommended radiation+Tamoxifen.. Maybe i should do mastectomy and reconstruction?Or do it later if needed?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • Renee' OK Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Elena! I was dx stage 2, Er, pr her- Brac - All scans clear so blessed. Decided for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Chemo now. I am so at peace with my decision. I prayed and researched. God bless you and your journey. Peace and healing

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Tough choices with this stupid disease. Sounds like you got the same recommendation from 3 doctors. Im similar to you. I had lumpectomy, just started radiation to be followed by tamoxifen. I asked about mastectomy but both doctor and surgeon felt it wasn't necessary. They all make it sound like...

      more

      Tough choices with this stupid disease. Sounds like you got the same recommendation from 3 doctors. Im similar to you. I had lumpectomy, just started radiation to be followed by tamoxifen. I asked about mastectomy but both doctor and surgeon felt it wasn't necessary. They all make it sound like radiation is a piece of cake. I hope so.

      Comment
  • Kavita Vora Profile

    It's been 9 months since my last chemo and 5 months since the end of my treatment. Lately, my hair has been falling at the same rate as it was during chemo and I always sweat and feel hot. Is it normal? Any suggestion to prevent hair loss?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 1 answer
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Are you on Tamoxifen? That can do everything you are experiencing. I'm 11 months out of chemo and 9 months out of rads my hair is just now really growing. Some days I have hot flashes but it is better. 5 days ago I swear I had a full on chemo day.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've started my 6 months of chemo in May...yesterday was my 3rd treatment, I go every 3wks....how long after chemo does surgery happen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same treatment plan as Laura and my surgeon operated 3 weeks after my last treatment. But there were other women with me at the center who had different plans. I suggest the same as the other women here to ask your doctors. Then you can have a mental map of when each part of your...

      more

      I had the same treatment plan as Laura and my surgeon operated 3 weeks after my last treatment. But there were other women with me at the center who had different plans. I suggest the same as the other women here to ask your doctors. Then you can have a mental map of when each part of your treatment will occur. tc jayme

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I am kind of surprised your oncologist hasn't talked to you about your treatment plan by this time. I would contact the office and have them lay out your schedule for you so you know what will be happening... and when. Every treatment is different depending on the type of breast cancer, stage,...

      more

      I am kind of surprised your oncologist hasn't talked to you about your treatment plan by this time. I would contact the office and have them lay out your schedule for you so you know what will be happening... and when. Every treatment is different depending on the type of breast cancer, stage, etc. That is the great thing about breast cancer treatment.... it is specific to your individual case. Call the office today. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment

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