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How Long Does Chemo Take For Breast Cancer

Estrogen Receptor Blockers Estrogen Receptor Blocker Drugs Attach Directly To And Block The Estrogen Receptors On Cancer Cells So That The Cancer Cells Cant Use Estrogen They Do Not Affect The Level Of Estrogen In The Body Estrogen Receptor Blockers Are Also Called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

Having chemotherapy for breast cancer – patient guide

Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen is the most commonly used anti-estrogen drug. It is used in post-menopausal and premenopausal women. Tamoxifen is given by mouth as a pill.

Tamoxifen is the hormonal therapy drug used most often to lower the risk that DCIS or LCIS will lead to an invasive breast cancer.

Tamoxifen very slightly increases the risk for uterine cancer, deep vein thrombosis and stroke. Doctors will carefully weigh these risks against the benefits of giving this drug before they offer it to women who have a personal or a strong family history of these conditions. Usually the benefits of taking tamoxifen outweigh these risks.

Fulvestrant

Fulvestrant is an anti-estrogen drug that reduces the number of estrogen receptors on breast cancer cells. It is given as an injection into the muscles of the buttocks.

Fulvestrant is used in post-menopausal women if the breast cancer has grown after they were treated with tamoxifen. It is also used in postmenopausal women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that have never been treated with hormonal therapy.

Is Oral Chemotherapy As Effective As Iv Chemotherapy

Yes, the potential results are the same no matter which method you choose. The purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. It has the potential;to reduce the size of tumors, control disease progression and, in some cases, may lead to cancer regression.

Chemotherapy may be used before and/or after another treatment, such as surgery, or alone as the primary treatment method. Its sometimes used in combination with other treatments, such as radiation therapy;or immunotherapy.

What Happens During Chemotherapy Treatment

There are different ways you can receive chemotherapy. The most common way that chemotherapy drugs are given is through a needle into a vein. This is called intravenous or IV chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can also be taken as a pill, capsule, or liquid by mouth, as an injection or shot, or as a cream that is put directly on your skin. Learn more about the different kinds of chemotherapy.

During your first IV chemotherapy appointment, you should bring a friend or family member. They can support you and help you remember information. Sometimes you will be given medication before your chemotherapy treatment that can make you tired, so you may need someone who can drive you home.

You may also bring items that make your treatment time easier. For instance, considering bringing your phone, a tablet, books, or a blanket.

Before your treatment starts, you will:

  • Have a blood sample taken

  • Meet with your oncologist so they can check your health and blood test results

  • Meet the nurse or other health professionals who will give your treatment

  • Have your blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and temperature taken before starting treatment

  • Have your height and weight measured to find the right dose of chemotherapy

  • May have an IV tube, also called a catheter, put in your arm

To get the full benefit of chemotherapy, it is important to follow the schedule of treatments recommended by your doctor and manage other medications you’re taking.

Also Check: What Is The Recovery Time For Breast Cancer Surgery

I Was Told To Expect Two Years

to feel back to normal, but I am three years out from chemo, and I still have joint pain, neuropathy, and digestive problems. ;I have the sneaking suspicion that this may be the “new normal”! ;Better than the alternative, but still not very fun.

ETA welcome to Timothy! ;You can create a new post if you like, to introduce yourself. ;Gives people a chance to say hello!

YoVita

How You Have Chemotherapy

Hair Growth After Chemo  Timeline With Pictures

You usually have treatment into your bloodstream .

You might have treatment through a long plastic tube;that goes;into a large vein in your chest. The tube stays in place throughout the course of treatment. This can be a:

  • central line
  • PICC line
  • portacath

If you don’t have a central line you might;have treatment;through a thin short tube . The cannula goes into a vein in your arm each time you have treatment.

Also Check: Don Harrington Breast Cancer Center

Studies On Time To Surgery And Survival

Several studies have been done, but there are some differences in how these were conducted that can affect the results. For example, some studies have looked at the time between a definitive diagnosis and surgery, and others have looked at the time between the onset of symptoms and the time of surgery. Some have looked at averages of all people, whereas others have separated out people based on age, tumor type, and receptor status. Studies can also be skewed, as doctors may recommend surgery sooner for women who have more aggressive tumors. Let’s look at time to surgery and survival rates in different groups of people.

Who Is On My Chemotherapy Team

A highly trained medical team will work together to give you the best possible care. Your team may include these health care professionals:

Medical oncologist. This type of doctor specializes in treating cancer with medication. Your medical oncologist works closely with other team members to create your overall cancer treatment plan. They also lead your chemotherapy treatments.

Advanced providers, like oncology nurse practitioners and oncology physician assistants . These providers meet with patients and collaborate with a supervising medical oncologist. Their responsibilities can include:

  • Giving physical examinations

  • Ordering and interpreting laboratory and diagnostic test results

  • Prescribing and administering medications and other therapies, including chemotherapy

  • Providing education and counseling for patients and families

Oncology nurse. An oncology nurse specializes in cancer care. This includes giving chemotherapy. Oncology nurses can also:

  • Answer questions about treatment

  • Monitor your health during treatment

  • Help you manage side effects of treatment

Other health care professionals. Other team members may help care for your physical, emotional, and social needs during chemotherapy. These professionals include:

  • Pharmacists

Learn more about the oncology team.

Also Check: Can Asbestos Cause Breast Cancer

Dilemmas Of Stage Iv Breast Cancer

Indeed, there are many serious and personal questions involving stage IV breast cancer.; So, overall survival is less likely, and gains from intensive breast cancer treatment are unfortunately rather modest.; A serious consideration is, therefore,;quality of life during the course of treatment.

These decisions tend to be a dynamic process, based on individual cases, between patients and physicians.; Respect needs to be given to the expectations for treatment, the status of the disease and the patient wishes.

Sex Contraception And Pregnancy

How Long Does Chemo Brain Last?

You can still have sex during treatment. Its thought that chemotherapy drugs cant pass into vaginal fluids or semen, but this cant be completely ruled out as chemotherapy drugs can pass into the blood and some other body fluids. Most treatment teams will advise using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms during treatment, and for a few days after chemotherapy is given.;

If you havent been through the menopause, its important to use contraception because chemotherapy drugs can harm a developing baby in the first three months of pregnancy. Its still possible to become pregnant even if your periods become irregular or stop completely.

Your specialist will usually recommend barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms. The contraceptive pill is not usually recommended because it contains hormones. Emergency contraception such as the morning after pill can still be used.

An interuterine device can be used as long as its not the type that releases hormones. If you have a coil in place that does release hormones, such as the Mirena or Jaydess, when youre diagnosed, you may be advised to have this removed.

Find out more about how breast cancer and its treatment can affect;sex and intimacy;and read our;tips on how to manage these changes.

Recommended Reading: What Do Breast Cancer Patients Need

Where Does Breast Cancer Spread To

Breast cancer cells seem to prefer to settle into:-

  • long bones in the arms and legs
  • ribs
  • skull

With an osteolytic metastasis, the cancer kind of eats away at the bone, creating holes.

With an osteoblastic bone metastasis, the bone mineral density actually increases, but this can cause the bones to fracture more easily. This requires a little more explanation. Breast cancer metastases tend to be lytic when they are untreated, and then they become densely sclerotic as they respond to treatment.

Even if no treatment is given yet, an osteoblastic metastasis from breast cancer generally indicates that the persons own body is trying to fight cancer with some success.

A CT scan may also be used to check for metastasis to the lungs or liver. A CT scan is essentially an X-ray linked to a computer. The breast cancer doctor injects a contrast dye agent into the bloodstream and this makes any cancer cells in the liver and chest easier to see.

Allow For Fatigue And Recovery

The day after your first treatment you may feel tired or very fatigued. Plan on resting, as this gives your body the chance to respond to the chemotherapy, and begin the recovery cycle. Remember that chemo affects every cell in your body. Stay well-hydrated by drinking lots of water or juice.

If you feel fuzzy brained;from the medications, try a hot tub soak. Do keep in mind that the majority of the side effects are temporary;and that during recovery you will soon feel better.

Also Check: How Old To Get Breast Cancer

Investigations For Stages Of Breast Cancer

The following procedures may be necessary to check for metastasis:-

  • bone scan
  • MRI scan
  • blood tests

So, after a breast cancer diagnosis, while in general, the outlook is favorable , it should really be considered a chronic condition.

But the progression is not going to be the same for everyone, even for patients with similar stages of breast cancer presentation.; It is SO important to remember that each case is individual.; Indeed breast cancer has been known to return even 20 years after a mastectomy, whilst in others, the progression and systemic development of the disease may be rapid.

Are you considering having NO treatment?

Anxiety, fear, panic, anger and sadness are all common emotions following a breast cancer diagnosis.; If you are in the middle of a combination of these feelings, today is not a good day to make important decisions.

Here is my quick imagine a way this all gets better line of reasoning, to help you. Firstly, treatments are so effective nowadays and very well organized.; Cancer research and treatments are improving all the time and the people who treat breast cancer are experienced experts.

Give the team some trust and time to explain things properly and accept the treatments. Do one step at a time, one day at a time, and you will be amazed at the results.

Add onto that the following self-help methods:-

  • lots of sleep

Conventional Stages Of Breast Cancer Progression: 0 Through Iv

Hair Growth After Chemo And Radiation

As mentioned, there are five basic stages of breast cancer with a couple of sub-categories.

Stage 0

This is a bit of an unclear term which specialists use to describe the development of abnormal cells that are not yet invasive breast cancer. Indeed physicians consider Ductal Carcinoma in situ, or DCIS,; stage 0 breast cancer.

Here the malignant cancer cells are present in the lining of the breast d uct but have not yet invaded the surrounding breast tissue or spread beyond the duct. Almost 100% of DCIS is curable, but it obviously, does need treatment.

Early-stage breast cancer; Stage 1

Stage 1 breast cancer is an early stage breast cancer. There is a considerable difference in medical opinion as to what exactly constitutes early stag e breast cancer.; Also, how aggressive the treatment for Stage I breast cancer is another area of debate.

The standard definition of a stage 1 breast tumor is that a certain amount of breast cancer cells invade tissues and structures beyond the duct lining.; ;However, no cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.

Furthermore, the tumor size is less than 2 cm in diameter. If physicians can detect and treat breast cancer before it grows beyond 2cm, the prognosis is very very good.

The average age of diagnosis of a stage 1 breast tumor is about 52 years old. In over 90% of cases, treatment tends to involve breast conservation surgery,; followed by radiation therapy.

Chance of stage 1 cancer recurrence or spreading.

Also Check: Can You Go Into Remission With Stage 4 Breast Cancer

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

How Long Do You Take Oral Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy in either form is usually given in cycles over a period of a few weeks at a time, but this may vary depending on the specifics of your treatment plan.

If you have advanced cancer and chemotherapy is being used to slow the progression of cancer or to relieve its symptoms, it may be used for longer periods of time if youre tolerating it well and it improves your quality of life.

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Summary Of Surgery Timing

Though we don’t have a solid answer on how soon surgery should be done after a diagnosis of breast cancer , it would seem earlier surgery is ideal .

Delaying for a lengthy period of time can be dangerous, with studies finding that those who delay over six months are twice as likely to die from the disease. This is important to keep in mind for those who have breast lumps they are “observing” without a clear diagnosis. Any breast lump needs to be explained.

How Long Do Side Effects Last

Hairgrowth Post-Chemotherapy | Young women with Breast Cancer

Many side effects go away fairly quickly, but some might take months or even years to go away completely. These are called late effects.

Sometimes the side effects can last a lifetime, such as when chemo causes long-term damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or reproductive organs. Certain types of chemo sometimes cause delayed effects, such as a second cancer that may show up many years later.

People often become discouraged about how long their treatment lasts or the side effects they have. If you feel this way, talk to your cancer care team. You may be able to change your medicine or treatment schedule. They also may be able to suggest ways to reduce any pain and discomfort you have.

Also Check: How To Donate To Breast Cancer Charity

How Long Does Your Chemo Treatment Take

jen2012Joined: Aug 2012

Jan 07, 2013 – 10:51 am

Just curious – my husband typically has a 2 to 3 hour wait before chemo starts.; So a 2 1/2 hr treatment can easily last 6 hrs.; Is that typical?;; It’s a bit frustrating.; He gets early morning appts – usually 9 or 9:15.;; And then he sits there until almost lunch time some days.;He is doing folfox plus 30 mins of avastin.;; He was doing 1/2 hr before and after of the calcium/magnesium for neuropathy but said he doesn’t know if it’s doing anything and worth the extra hour in an already long day.

Chelsea71

Three hours. ;Folfiri with avastin. ;Goes home with the 5fu pump .;

Treatment For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Typically, treatment for stage 4 breast cancer includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy .

Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the protein that allows cancer cells to grow and this type of therapy may also be an option for people with stage 4 breast cancer.

Sometimes, surgeons will operate to try and remove tumors though this is not usually the first option for treatment.

Doctors, however, may recommend surgery to help with pain relief by treating some of the issues that may develop as a result of having stage 4 breast cancer. These include spinal cord compression, removing single masses caused by metastasis, and fixing any broken bones.

A doctor may also prescribe medication to treat related symptoms such as:

  • antidepressants to help mood
  • anticonvulsants to manage pain or neurologic conditions
  • local anesthetics to manage pain

New treatments and therapies are emerging all the time, and anyone who has breast cancer at any stage can volunteer to try out these new treatments. People considering this should talk to their doctor to see whether any trials are available in their area.

Trials for a new treatment called immunotherapy are currently taking place. Immunotherapy works by raising the bodys natural ability to fight off cancer and has fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

As well as numbers, a zero or an X often follow the letters T, N, and M. According to the AJCC, the meanings are as follows:

These include:

Read Also: How To Help Breast Cancer Awareness

Stages Of Breast Cancer: Stage Iiib

A stage IIIb breast cancer is one in which the tumor may be of any size but it has grown into the chest wall or the skin of the breast.; A stage IIIb designation also applies if there is evidence of either

  • axillary lymph node metastasis
  • internal mammary node metastasis

presenting in such a way as to suggest that total surgical removal is not possible.

There is a unique type of breast cancer,; inflammatory breast cancer, that causes the breast to appear red and swollen. This is because the cancer cells block some of the lymphatic vessels. Inflammatory breast cancers tend to have a poorer prognosis and are generally stage;IIIb at least.

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