Side Effects Of Tamoxifen And Toremifene
The most common side effects of tamoxifen and toremifene are:
- Vaginal dryness or discharge
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
When tamoxifen treatment starts, a small number of women with cancer that has spread to the bones might have a tumor flare which can cause bone pain. This usually decreases quickly, but in some rare cases a woman may also develop a high calcium level in the blood that is hard to control. If this happens, the treatment may need to be stopped for a time.
Rare, but more serious side effects are also possible:
Possible Side Effects Of Ais
The most common side effects of AIs are:
- Bone and joint pain
AIs tend to have side effects different from tamoxifen. They don’t cause uterine cancers and very rarely cause blood clots. They can, however, cause muscle pain and joint stiffness and/or pain. The joint pain may be similar to a feeling of having arthritis in many different joints at one time. Options for treating this side effect include, stopping the AI and then switching to a different AI, taking a medicine called duloxetine , or routine exercise with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . But the muscle and joint pain has led some women to stop treatment. If this happens, most doctors recommend using tamoxifen to complete 5 to 10 years of hormone treatment.
Because AIs drastically lower the estrogen level in women after menopause, they can also cause bone thinning, sometimes leading to osteoporosis and even fractures. If you are taking an AI, your bone density may be tested regularly and you may also be given bisphosphonates or denosumab , to strengthen your bones.
Treatment Continues But Life Doesnt Slow Down
Fast forward to present, Laura marvels that its been four years since her original diagnosis. Her son is now 5 and her daughter 9. Life continues on as it must with children, school, marriage and my research work.
Now at age 44, Laura has been put into menopause and is learning how to deal with that. I have the body of an older lady now. Chemotherapy and the hormone therapy have impacted my bone density. Im not as strong physically as I was before and need to start working out again regularly to build my muscles and bones back up, says Laura.
After four years, however, her cancer journey isnt over. Lauras treatment plan includes menopausal hormone therapy for a total of 10 years and regular check-ins with Dr. Dormady and his team. Laura is choosing to undergo a total hysterectomy with a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to further reduce her genetic cancer risk.
For the next few years, she will be relying on the support and the awesome experience she continues to have with El Camino Health.
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Why Choose Inspira For Infusion Therapy
We combine cutting-edge medical technology with a human touch, allowing us to provide experienced care. Our skilled physicians and infusion specialists are well-versed in the latest IV treatments and are equipped with advanced technologies that can ease your symptoms and reduce potential side effects associated with treatment.
At Inspira, we take the patient experience seriously. Thats why we equipped our infusion center with an array of amenities including comfortable family waiting areas, a tech bar for patients and visitors, valet parking and dining locations in the cancer center and adjacent hospital. Our suites offer privacy and comfort to patients receiving infusion therapy, making each visit a calm and healing experience.
Residents of South Jersey dont need to travel far to get the infusion services they need. Inspira delivers a full breadth of oncology and non-oncology infusion services close to where you live. When youre not distracted by a long commute to your medical provider, you have more energy to focus on whats important: healing and recovery.
Inspira Health Infusion Centers
How Does Immunotherapy Work
To understand how immunotherapy works, it helps to understand how breast cancer develops. Breast cancer happens when something disrupts the way your body produces the cells that make up your breast glands, ducts and tissues.
Like all cells, your breast cells are continually dividing and reproducing. Think of a bathtub being filled with soapy bubbles that divide and subdivide until the tub fills. If something speeds up bubble production, the tub overflows. When something speeds up breast cell production, your breast cells turn into a mass of tissue or tumor. These tumors can be benign or cancerous. When you pull the plug on a tub of bubbles, they flow away. Likewise, breast cancer treatment attempts to pull the plug on cancer cells.
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Radiation Vs Infusion Vs Chemotherapy: A Primer
A cancer diagnosis can be frightening and challenging for anyone it does not have to be though. As a patient learns more about their cancer diagnosis and treatment options, it can become much easier to face the challenge head-on. Knowledge and understanding does not just calm our fears, it can build our confidence. With this in mind, we thought we would take a moment today to briefly discuss three words you may often associate with modern cancer services: radiation, infusion, and chemotherapy. Any one or even all three of these words may be included as a part of a patients care at Southeastern Meds Cancer Center. No one option is necessarily superior to another. Recognizing the differences and connections between the words, however, is a great first step for any prospective patient with cancer and their loved ones.
First, well talk about Radiation Therapy. According to Southeastern Meds Director of Cancer Services, Dominic Crock, this type of treatment generally involves the use of a linear accelerator to precisely provide radiation to the targeted area in the body where a tumor has been found. The treatments goal is to destroy the cancer cells while minimizing any sacrifice of good cells, he says. Southeastern Meds new cancer center features the newest model of linear accelerator available. The new linear accelerator is on par with those found at larger cancer treatment centers.
What Happens During Infusion Therapy
Our specially trained staff provides you with safe, efficient care while enabling you to maintain your normal daily routine with family, work, and leisure. We offer:
- Comfortable chairs in a semi-private environment
- Experienced nurses who specialize in IV therapy and closely monitor patients
- Scheduled appointments that include preparation and post-treatment time
The medications are delivered into your bloodstream through a temporary location in the hand or arm for short-term treatment. Infusion ports are an option if you require long-term courses of treatment.
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Immunotherapy For Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy is the use of medicines to boost a persons own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively. Immunotherapy typically works on specific proteins involved in the immune system to enhance the immune response. These drugs have side effects different from those of chemotherapy.
Some immunotherapy drugs, for example, monoclonal antibodies, work in more than one way to control cancer cells and may also be considered targeted therapy because they block a specific protein on the cancer cell to keep it from growing.
Immunotherapy is used to treat some types of breast cancer.
Infusion Therapy In A Healing Environment
Many people with cancer need multiple infusion therapy appointments. When you choose the AIS Cancer Center, your comfort is our priority during each and every visit.
Our open rooms are suffused with natural sunlight and furnished with comfortable chairs for all body shapes and sizes. You can chat with others during your treatment, or use a complementary iPad to read, watch news or television programs, surf the web, answer email or engage via social media. If you prefer your privacy, we have rooms that are closed off and quiet.
No matter which room you choose, your nurse is just an arm’s length away.
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When Is Hormone Therapy Used For Breast Cancer
Hormone therapy is often used after surgery to help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Sometimes it is started before surgery .
It is usually taken for at least 5 years. Treatment longer than 5 years might be offered to women whose cancers have a higher chance of coming back. A test called the Breast Cancer Index might be used to help decide if a woman will benefit from more than 5 years of hormone therapy.
Hormone therapy can also be used to treat cancer that has come back after treatment or that has spread to other parts of the body.
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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Powerful Medication To Fight Cancer Cells
Chemotherapy uses specialized medications to reach and kill cancer cells in any area of the body, unlike surgery and radiation, which target specific areas. At the AIS Cancer Center, we deliver chemotherapy in our infusion center, via needle or catheter. We also use infusion to deliver antibiotics, pain medications and other infusion treatments you might need as you fight your cancer.
Are A Woman Who Could Become Pregnant Or May Be Pregnant
HERCEPTIN HYLECTA may result in the death of an unborn baby or birth defects. Contraception should be used while receiving HERCEPTIN HYLECTA and for 7 months after your last dose of HERCEPTIN HYLECTA. If you are or become pregnant while receiving HERCEPTIN HYLECTA or within 7 months after your last dose of HERCEPTIN HYLECTA, you are encouraged to report HERCEPTIN HYLECTA exposure to Genentech at 18888352555.
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Cancer And Infusion Therapy
For cancer patients, treatments like chemotherapy and immunotherapy are often given by infusion.
Chemotherapy drugs are quite toxic to the body, so they need to be given slowly to lessen side effects. However, not all chemotherapies are infusionssome are taken orally.
Other types of cancer therapies, including immunotherapies and targeted therapies, are made from monoclonal antibodies. Treatment with monoclonal antibodies almost always requires infusion therapy to administer.
Monoclonal antibodies are biologic drugs that must be administered directly into the blood or injected under the skin. Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins in your body and can directly target specific proteins and direct the immune system to attack them.
Other Conditions That Infusion Therapy Treats
Many medicationsother than cancer treatmentsare delivered through infusion. Some of these include:
- Antibiotics for stubborn infections that arent responding to oral treatments
- Fluids used to treat dehydration
- Insulin injected to regulate blood sugar in patients with diabetes
- Pain medications, such as those used in childbirth, delivered directly into the fluid around the spinal cord
- Blood and blood products, including platelets and clotting factors, that need to be delivered directly into the bloodstream
- Biologics like monoclonal antibodies being used to treat neurological and autoimmune diseases, as well as infections, like COVID-19
- Monoclonal antibodies for autoimmune disorders like lupus and Crohns disease.
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What Are Active Immunotherapies
Active immunotherapies essentially push your immune system to do more to respond to your cancer. Healthcare providers create these immunotherapies by examining your cancer cells for antigens. Antigens are toxins or foreign substances. When your immune system runs into an antigen, it goes after the antigen. By identifying cancer cell antigens, providers can create drugs that focus your immune system on the cancer cells.
Chemo Drugs For Breast Cancer That Has Spread
- Taxanes: Paclitaxel , docetaxel , and albumin-bound paclitaxel
- Antibody drug conjugates
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.
Possible Serious Side Effects With Herceptin
Not all people have serious side effects, but side effects with HERCEPTIN 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 is not for everyone. Be sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:HEART PROBLEMS
These include heart problemssuch as congestive heart failure or reduced heart functionwith or without symptoms. The risk for and seriousness of these heart problems were highest in people who received both HERCEPTIN and a certain type of chemotherapy . In a study of adjuvant breast cancer, one patient died of significantly weakened heart muscle. Your doctor will check for signs of heart problems before, during, and after treatment with HERCEPTIN.INFUSION REACTIONS, including:
- Feeling sick to your stomach
These signs usually happen within 24 hours after receiving HERCEPTIN.Be sure to contact your doctor if you: Are a woman who could become pregnant, or may be pregnant
HERCEPTIN may result in the death of an unborn baby or birth defects. Contraception should be used while receiving HERCEPTIN and for 7 months after your last dose of HERCEPTIN. If you are or become pregnant while receiving HERCEPTIN or within 7 months after your last dose of HERCEPTIN, you should immediately report HERCEPTIN exposure to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.
Have any signs of SEVERE LUNG PROBLEMS, including:
- Severe shortness of breath
Swept Along On A Wave Of Care
A month later, Laura was visiting the treatment center at Mountain View regularly for a dose dense regimen of the chemotherapy drugs Adriamycin and Cytoxan with Taxol .
The Cancer Center at Mountain View is such a great environment nice, private and quiet, shares Laura. The nurses are outstanding, really knowledgeable. They knew how to help me with extra hydration and the right balance of meds to manage nausea. They get to know you and are so caring and supportive.
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Menstrual Changes And Fertility Issues
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.
What Happens After Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer
Immediately after chemotherapy, you may feel sleepy or nauseated. Typically, the side effects of chemotherapy go away after you complete all prescribed cycles.
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What To Expect During Infusion Treatments
There are many places that you can go to get infusion therapies. They may be performed in your home, a doctors office, the hospital, or a specialty infusion clinic. You may have access to a private room for your treatments, or you may get your infusion in a large room with other patients.
How you get your infusions depends on your insurance benefits and the locally available options. Ask your doctor about what to expect, check out the clinic’s website, or call ahead with any questions.
Less Common Side Effects
Low calcium levels in the blood
Zoledronic acid can cause calcium levels in the blood to drop too low. This is called hypocalcaemia. Youll have regular blood tests to check the calcium levels.
Early symptoms of hypocalcaemia include tingling around the mouth and lips and in the hands and feet. Let your treatment team know if you experience any of these.
Your treatment team may recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Zoledronic acid can cause an allergic reaction. If you become breathless or start to develop an itchy rash let your treatment team know straight away.
Bone, joint or muscle pain
Some people have bone, joint or muscle pain for a short time after having zoledronic acid. Let your treatment team know if you experience any of these symptoms.
Let your treatment team know if you get headaches. They can advise you about what medicines to take.
Zoledronic acid can cause some of the jaw bone to lose its blood supply and die. This is called osteonecrosis of the jaw . Its an uncommon but serious side effect of zoledronic acid.
- swelling, redness or ulcers on the gums
Let your treatment team and dentist know straight way if you have any of these symptoms.
ONJ is hard to treat so trying to prevent it is very important. Good dental hygiene can help reduce the risk of developing it. This includes brushing your teeth and flossing, making sure dentures fit well and having regular dental check-ups.
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