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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

    Which stage is when we can start treatment? Is that any treatment to escape from cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Stage has nothing to do with treatment. It depends on your indivdual case and what is needed for long term survival. Chemo can be dealt with I worked all the way through treatment.

      Comment
    • Mary G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      In general there is no treatment to "escape" cancer. Believe me if there was we'd all have done it before we got the diagnosis. Treatment starts after you discover you have cancer, as Marianne said every regimen is different. If you get a diagnosis your medical team works with you to determine...

      more

      In general there is no treatment to "escape" cancer. Believe me if there was we'd all have done it before we got the diagnosis. Treatment starts after you discover you have cancer, as Marianne said every regimen is different. If you get a diagnosis your medical team works with you to determine the best plan for you. We hope you or you loved ones do not have to go through this. Maintain a healthy diet and weight, exercise and stop smoking, drinking alcohol etc..there are things you can do to lower your chances. Best to you.

      Comment
  • Frankie Graddy Profile

    I was told I have cancer in my left breast my left arm pit my left shoulder my liver and my spinal and it's abrasive what are my chances of living and fighting this

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Are you other wise in good health?
      Statistics are not good for stage four cancer. U C SF told me the average is three years. That of course means
      Some won't make it to three years and some will make it way past three years. It depends on how long drugs can keep it from growing. When one...

      more

      Are you other wise in good health?
      Statistics are not good for stage four cancer. U C SF told me the average is three years. That of course means
      Some won't make it to three years and some will make it way past three years. It depends on how long drugs can keep it from growing. When one drug stops another is then used. You can have good quality of life and in reality none knows if you are the one who will make it ten years!

      Comment
    • Karen G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Stage 4 I was told is treated like a Chronic disease now. It is not curable but you still have the possibility of remission and still have the possibility to live for years. That is how I am looking at it anyway.

      Comment
  • Betsy Chapin Profile

    Has anyone experienced hip pain with tamoxifen? I have been on tamoxifen for 14 months now and the last couple of months I have experienced hip pain and am wondering if this a side effect of the drug?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2010
    about 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Mary Foti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I have this same problem with Arimidex. My hips are so stiff and I am 42! I find doing yoga to be helpful and occasionally I take Advil. Nothing has completely eliminated my discomfort but it is manageable with exercise.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes, it is a side effect.

      Comment
  • Bobbi Sidorenkov Profile

    Has anyone experienced bleeding between periods and longer periods during chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 3 answers
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      My first period after I started chemo seemed to last forever; haven't had one since. It's common for chemo to whack your cycle but always a good idea to talk to your onc about any changes or abnormalities! :) Julie

      Comment
    • Traci Brundage Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I didn't have one for eighteen months during it . Ask you heno

      Comment

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