Breast cancer chemotherapy
The decision to recommend breast cancer chemotherapy as well as the choice the therapy regimens depend on the characteristics of the individual patient, personal experience of the oncologist and the logistics of the medical centre. The table below lists the most commonly used breast cancer chemotherapy regimen in the world including full description of the drugs, how they are given, what to expect and side effects.
|Caelyx||Cisplatin - Gem||Lapatinib Cap|
There are three main techniques of breast cancer chemotherapy which are given to patients-
this situation the treatment is given to patients after their surgery as
an added insurance policy to reduce the chance of their tumour returning in
another part of the body in the future.
magnitude of benefit depends on a number of specific features for each
individual and this will be discussed with you at depth by your oncologist (see
management). This may range from as low as 2% up to over 50%. This does mean
that many women will have no benefit from this therapy either because they
are cured anyway or the tumour will return despite the treatment.
2. NEOADJUVANT will also have the same benefits as adjuvant mentioned above. This is usually reserved for situations were the surgeon does not feel the tumour could be safely removed at operation with lumpectomy and has recommended mastectomy. In other situations the tumour is fairly extensive (locally advanced) and it requires shrinkage in order to allow the surgeon to perform mastectomy.
3. PALLIATIVE The aim is not to cure, but to control or shrink the tumour especially if it is causing a specific symptom. The aims are to improve the quality of life; therefore the side effects from the treatments should not outweigh the benefits of shrinking the tumour.In these latter two categories, your oncologist would require a full re-assessment of your disease after two or three cycles, to check whether these strategies are working effectively. If not, the regime could be stopped or changed.