Sunday, March 3, 2024

List Of Chemo Drugs For Breast Cancer

Menstrual Changes And Fertility Issues

Having chemotherapy for breast cancer – patient guide

For younger women, changes in menstrual periods are a common side effect of chemo. Premature menopause and infertility may occur and could be permanent. If this happens, there is an increased risk of heart disease, bone loss, and osteoporosis. There are medicines that can treat or help prevent bone loss.

Even if your periods stop while you are on chemo, you may still be able to get pregnant. Getting pregnant while on chemo could lead to birth defects and interfere with treatment. If you have not gone through menopause before treatment and are sexually active, its important to discuss using birth control with your doctor. It is not a good idea for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to take hormonal birth control , so its important to talk with both your oncologist and your gynecologist about what options would be best for you. When women have finished treatment , they can safely go on to have children, but it’s not safe to get pregnant while being treated.

If you think you might want to have children after being treated for breast cancer, talk with your doctor soon after being diagnosed and before you start treatment. For some women, adding medicines, like monthly injections with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analog, along with chemo, can help them have a successful pregnancy after cancer treatment. To learn more, see Female Fertility and Cancer.

Side Effects Of Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy usually works by attacking rapidly dividing cells. This means that chemotherapy can harm not only cancer cells but also healthy cells that are dividing rapidly, like the ones that cause your hair to grow.

Whether you have side effects from breast cancer chemotherapy will depend on the details of your treatment plan. The care teams at MSK are committed to helping you feel your best during and after treatment. During treatment, well watch carefully for your reaction to the drugs and adjust the drugs or dose as necessary. Well also continue to monitor you for possible long-term effects after your treatment ends.

We offer a variety of other specialized services to support you during your treatment. Many MSK patients find that our Integrative Medicine Service can be a valuable part of their treatment plan. Programs include massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization, music therapy, and nutritional counseling.

One side effect of chemotherapy can be hair loss. MSK offers scalp cooling to help minimize hair loss. Learn more about scalp cooling, or ask your care team for more information.

Alternative Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Cancer Care Patients seek alternative breast cancer care at every stage of their cancer journey. Some at the beginning, immediately following a breast cancer diagnosis and some who have exhausted all conventional therapies of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. For over fifteen years, Sunridge Medical has treated patients with all types and stages of cancer including Stage 4 breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer.

This very personal diagnosis becomes rather clinical quickly when so many treatment options are offered including conventional and alternative breast cancer treatment. Since there are several types of breast cancer and many stages of breast cancer with malignant to benign tumors, no one breast cancer treatment plan is the same.

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Chemo Drugs For Breast Cancer That Has Spread

Although drug combinations are often used to treat early breast cancer, advanced breast cancer often is treated with single chemo drugs. Still, some combinations, such as paclitaxel plus gemcitabine, are commonly used to treat metastatic breast cancer.

For cancers that are HER2-positive, one or more drugs that target HER2 may be used with chemo.

Breast Cancer: Types Of Treatment

Treatment Advances in Oncology: Oral Chemotherapy

Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.

ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for people with breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.

This section explains the types of treatments, also known as therapies, that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer. Standard of care means the best treatments known. When making treatment plan decisions, you are encouraged to discuss with your doctor whether clinical trials are an option. A clinical trial is a research study that tests a new approach to treatment. Doctors learn through clinical trials whether a new treatment is safe, effective, and possibly better than the standard treatment. Clinical trials can test a new drug and how often it should be given, a new combination of standard treatments, or new doses of standard drugs or other treatments. Some clinical trials also test giving less drug or radiation treatment or doing less extensive surgery than what is usually done as the standard of care. Clinical trials are an option for all stages of cancer. Your doctor can help you consider all your treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials in the About Clinical Trials and Latest Research sections of this guide.

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Feeling Unwell Or Tired

Many women do not feel as healthy after chemo as they did before. There is often a residual feeling of body pain or achiness and a mild loss of physical functioning. These changes may be very subtle and happen slowly over time.

Fatigue is another common problem for women who have received chemo. This may last a few months up to several years. It can often be helped, so its important to let your doctor or nurse know about it. Exercise, naps, and conserving energy may be recommended. If you have sleep problems, they can be treated. Sometimes fatigue can be a sign of depression, which may be helped by counseling and/or medicines.

Possible Serious Side Effects With Herceptin Hylecta

Not all people have serious side effects, but side effects with HERCEPTIN HYLECTA therapy are common.

Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not.

Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur.

HERCEPTIN HYLECTA is not for everyone. Be sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:

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Breast Cancer A Second Opinion

We are ok being second, if we are the second opinion after a breast cancer diagnosis. Alternative breast cancer treatment can be considered a second choice when all other treatments have failed. It is true that Sunridge can help even if all other conventional treatments have failed and we are a last resort, but when Sunridge Medical is the second opinion at the beginning of a healing journey, we have an impressive impact on the cancer outcome. We look at cancer differently than the traditional oncologist who sees cancer as treating it traditionally with surgery, chemo, and radiation. Although sometimes that traditional treatment can be effective for an abbreviated time, it does not always eradicate cancer and stop its reappearance.

Length Of Treatment With An Aromatase Inhibitor

ASCO 2022: Metastatic Breast Cancer Drug Therapy Recap

Randomized clinical trials have compared outcomes for women who used aromatase inhibitors for 10 years versus 5 years . Taking an aromatase inhibitor for 10 years :

  • Improves disease-free survival
  • Lowers the risk of cancer in the opposite breast

However, overall survival is the same whether a woman takes an aromatase inhibitor for 5 years or 10 years . For most women, the benefit of the extra 5 years of treatment is small .

Women who take an aromatase inhibitor for more than 5 years continue to have side effects from the drug, including a higher number of bone fractures and a higher rate of osteoporosis .

Talk with your health care provider about how long you should take an aromatase inhibitor.

Learn about the importance of completing treatment with an aromatase inhibitor.

Possible side effects of aromatase inhibitors include muscle pain, joint pain and menopausal symptoms .

Aromatase inhibitors also cause a loss of bone density. Youll get a baseline measure of your bone density so changes in your bone density can be monitored.

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How Do Aromatase Inhibitors Work

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancers need estrogen and/or progesterone to grow.

Aromatase inhibitors lower estrogen levels in the body by blocking aromatase, an enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen. This slows or stops the growth of the tumor by preventing the cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.

Aromatase inhibitors include:

To learn about a specific aromatase inhibitor, visit the National Institutes of Healths Medline Plus website.

Possible Side Effects Of Chemo For Breast Cancer

Chemo drugs can cause side effects, depending on the type and dose of drugs given, and the length of treatment. Some of the most common possible side effects include:

  • Hot flashes and/or vaginal dryness from menopause caused by chemo

Chemo can also affect the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, which can lead to:

  • Increased chance of infections
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

These side effects usually go away after treatment is finished. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, drugs can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

Other side effects are also possible. Some of these are more common with certain chemo drugs. Ask your cancer care team about the possible side effects of the specific drugs you are getting.

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Chemotherapy For Metastatic Breast Cancer

Advances in treatment are making it possible for women with metastatic breast cancer to live for many years. New drug therapies can not only slow down or stop a tumors growth but also keep symptoms at bay.

Which treatment your doctor recommends will vary based on your medical history, age, and breast cancer type, among other factors. Combinations of drugs are commonly prescribed for women with early-stage disease. Most women with advanced breast cancer generally receive only one drug at a time.

Chemotherapy drugs that MSK doctors commonly prescribe for advanced breast cancer include:

Women with advanced disease can also benefit from genomic testing. This is also called tumor sequencing or molecular profiling. It is offered to all MSK patients with metastatic breast cancer. Genomic testing involves looking at the cancer cells to see if there are any genetic mutations that could be linked to the specific type of breast cancer you have.

Our experts use a highly sophisticated testing approach developed by MSK researchers called MSK-IMPACT. The information gained from MSK-IMPACT can help us personalize your care. We can rule out drug therapies that may not work for you or sometimes recommend cutting-edge clinical trials designed to target the specific mutations in your tumor.

What To Expect During Chemotherapy Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment: A Review

Some chemotherapy medicines for breast cancer can be taken orally as pills. But most chemotherapy medicines are given as an infusion into a vein through an IV, a port, or a catheter over a period of time.

Chemotherapy is given in cycles a period of treatment followed by a period of recovery. One cycle may include chemotherapy on the first day and then three weeks of recovery with no treatment.

A chemotherapy treatment regimen is made up of several cycles. The number of cycles in a regimen and the total time it takes to complete one regimen depends on the chemotherapy medicines you receive. But most regimens take three to six months to complete.

In some cases, if the cancer is considered aggressive, doctors may recommend a dose-dense chemotherapy regimen. Dose-dense chemotherapy means there is less time between cycles say every two weeks instead of every three weeks.

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Combination Drug Therapy For Early

Combination drug therapy means that you receive more than one type of drug at a time.

Combining drug therapies allows your care team to increase the chances that your treatment will be effective against the breast cancer. If a tumor becomes resistant to one drug, your treatment may still be effective because the tumor responds to the second or third drug in the combination you receive.

Combination therapy can be given before or after breast surgery. Most women receive a combination of two or three drugs at the same time. Some of these drugs are breast cancer targeted therapies. These drugs work by targeting specific molecules involved in breast cancer development.

Here are some of the drug combinations that MSKs medical oncologists commonly prescribe:

Dose-Dense AC-T Chemotherapy

  • Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel
  • Used to treat early-stage breast cancer, particularly in younger women or women with aggressive disease
  • Given intravenously before or after surgery

Dose-Dense AC-TH Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy

  • Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel and trastuzumab
  • Used to treat early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer
  • Given intravenously before or after surgery

Dose-Dense AC-THP Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy

  • Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab
  • Used to treat early-stage breast cancer
  • Given intravenously before or after surgery

CMF Chemotherapy

TC Chemotherapy

Choosing A Chemo Combination

Your doctor will probably talk to you about combining different chemo drugs. They may refer to them by abbreviations for their names. Some of the most common include:

  • AC: Adriamycin and Cytoxan
  • CMF: Cytoxan, methotrexate, and fluorouracil
  • FAC: Fluorouracil, Adriamycin, and Cytoxan
  • CAF: Cytoxan, Adriamycin, and fluorouracil

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Complementary And Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine are medicines and health practices that are not standard cancer treatments. Complementary medicine is used in addition to standard treatments, and alternative medicine is used instead of standard treatments. Meditation, yoga, and supplements like vitamins and herbs are some examples.

Many kinds of complementary and alternative medicine have not been tested scientifically and may not be safe. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before you start any kind of complementary or alternative medicine.

The Sunridge Approach To Cancer

Medication for Breast Cancer Risk Reduction

The Sunridge approach to Breast Cancer treatment is to study the whole body, investigate the underlying cause of the cancer, understand the diagnosis and how the cancer manifested, establish the overall wellness of the patient and their ability to respond to treatments then based on these findings deliver the best treatments to stop the cancer and stave off additional disease.

We combine conventional and alternative breast cancer therapies to provide patients with the most successful, comprehensive breast cancer treatment. Our cancer plan aims at attacking the cancer, and restoring the bodys natural defense and regulatory mechanisms, including the immune system and detoxification pathways.

More importantly our strategy includes balancing hormones, cleaning up the gut and maintaining wellness to prevent cancer reoccurrence by building back what was missing in the body when illness was first detected. At Sunridge Medical we offer a comprehensive immunobiological treatment aimed at attacking the cancer, and restoring the bodys natural defense and regulatory mechanisms, including the immune system and detoxification pathways.

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How Are Aromatase Inhibitors Taken

Aromatase inhibitors are pills. You take one pill every day.

Postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer can:

  • Begin hormone therapy with an aromatase inhibitor
  • Begin hormone therapy with tamoxifen and then after a few years, switch to an aromatase inhibitor

When an aromatase inhibitor is the only hormone therapy given, its taken for 5-10 years.

When an aromatase inhibitor is taken after tamoxifen, the drugs are taken for a combined total of 5-10 years.

Talk with your health care provider about how long you should take an aromatase inhibitor.

Find a list of questions on hormone therapy you may want to ask your health care provider.

How Is Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer Given

Chemo drugs for breast cancer are typically given into a vein , either as an injection over a few minutes or as an infusion over a longer period of time. This can be done in a doctors office, infusion center, or in a hospital setting.

Often, a slightly larger and sturdier IV is required in the vein system to administer chemo. These are known as central venous catheters , central venous access devices , or central lines. They are used to put medicines, blood products, nutrients, or fluids right into your blood. They can also be used to take out blood for testing.

There are many different kinds of CVCs. The most common types are the port and the PICC line. For breast cancer patients, the central line is typically placed on the side opposite of the breast cancer. If a woman has breast cancer in both breasts, the central line will most likely be placed on the side that had fewer lymph nodes removed or involved with cancer.

Chemo is given in cycles, followed by a rest period to give you time to recover from the effects of the drugs. Chemo cycles are most often 2 or 3 weeks long. The schedule varies depending on the drugs used. For example, with some drugs, chemo is given only on the first day of the cycle. With others, it is given one day a week for a few weeks or every other week. Then, at the end of the cycle, the chemo schedule repeats to start the next cycle.

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How To Recognize A Cancer Emergency

Your doctor and the chemotherapy nurse will let you know what situations would be considered an emergency. But if you have any of the following warning signs, tell your doctor immediately:

  • A temperature greater than 100.4 F.
  • Any fever and chills. If you can’t reach your doctor, go to the emergency room.

Common Chemotherapy Drugs For Breast Cancer

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy drugs used to treat early breast cancer include:

These drugs are often used with others like carboplatin, cyclophosphamide , and fluorouracil .

These drugs are often used with others like carboplatin , cyclophosphamide , and fluorouracil .

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How Is Breast Cancer Treated

Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread.

Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

  • Surgery. An operation where doctors cut out cancer tissue.
  • Chemotherapy. Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
  • Hormonal therapy. Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
  • Biological therapy. Works with your bodys immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.
  • Radiation therapy. Using high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells.

Doctors from different specialties often work together to treat breast cancer. Surgeons are doctors who perform operations. Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine. Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.

For more information, visit the National Cancer Institutes Breast Cancer Treatment Option Overview.external icon This site can also help you find health care services.external icon

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