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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

    Waiting Patiently on The Oncotype test, Hope it's good news.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      ONCATYPEDX test saved me from having to go through 20 weeks of chemotherapy! I still had to give up both of my breasts and ovaries, and I still have to take some narly follow up meds, but I don't have to kill my blood or lose my hair. I feel it gave me back 10 months of my life. My prayer is...

      more

      ONCATYPEDX test saved me from having to go through 20 weeks of chemotherapy! I still had to give up both of my breasts and ovaries, and I still have to take some narly follow up meds, but I don't have to kill my blood or lose my hair. I feel it gave me back 10 months of my life. My prayer is that yours will turn out the same. Please keep us posted. If you ever need to talk, please write me. musicmakerstudio@aol.com Will not let you go through this alone. : )

      Comment
    • Alison Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      It seems like forever waiting on oncotype results!!! Good luck to you & let us know the results :)

      3 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is the best way to support a loved one who has been diagnosed with breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Pray.

      Comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Sorry... Hit button too soon! She is going to have to make a lot of decisions. You don't have to have all the answers but it helps her to talk about it. Be specific in offering help. Make a meal, run an errand. Ask her to join this site. We understand what she is going through. She is...

      more

      Sorry... Hit button too soon! She is going to have to make a lot of decisions. You don't have to have all the answers but it helps her to talk about it. Be specific in offering help. Make a meal, run an errand. Ask her to join this site. We understand what she is going through. She is lucky to have you in her life. Keep in touch!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    After a double mastectomy I am getting two choices of treatment for stage 2b. Chemo or No Chemo with hormone therapy. E P Her2 - Any suggestions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • blair greiner Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Were lymph nodes involved?

      1 comment
    • melissa perlman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      What' s the purpose of hormone therapy if you are E P negative.?

      4 comments
  • Connie Demarest Profile

    Is chemotherapy (except aromotase inhibitors) used for stage 1 lymph node negative breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 3 answers
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Hi Connie,
      You have a lot happening this week. You will get through this. Sometimes the toughest part of treatment Is waiting. I believe you will have answers when you see your oncologist this week. Stay strong.

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Yes one could have chemotherapy with a stage one diagnosis. I was stage one and had chemotherapy with no lymph node involvement due to the fact that my cancer was HER2 positive.

      Comment

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