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Chemotherapy in breast cancer

Chemotherapy for breast cancer began to be widely used in more than half a century ago. The basis for systemic application of drugs before surgery and after is the idea of development of malignant tumors in the Breasts as system processes. The advantages of the method:

  • local and systemic effects on cancer cells;
  • prevention of metastases and recurrence after surgical treatment.

Features of chemotherapy as a method

Chemotherapy called drug treatment for cancer. Applied antitumor drugs whose action is directed at the destruction of cancer cells (cytostatics).

Chemotherapy in breast cancer is of the following types:

  • Adjuvant (additional, or preventive). Held in the case when the tumor is operable. Can be assigned before surgery (neoadjuvant) and after removal of the tumor. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy allows to determine the sensitivity of cancer cells to commonly used drugs, but is delaying surgery. The main difficulty in the fact that drugs are "blind", so as to determine the histological type of the tumor, receptors for progesterone and estrogen is virtually impossible.
  • Treatment. Is in a situation of significant local spread of the tumor, of distant metastases. The goal is to reduce the size of metastatic cancers, to stop metastasis.
  • Induction. Appointed in inoperable breast cancer, locally advanced-spread. The goal is to reduce a malignant tumor to a certain size, when operation is possible.

The side effects of chemotherapy

The treatment of breast cancer carried out by various methods: types, forms, stages patients of different. Therefore, to compare the chemotherapy efficiency with other methods of influence on the tumor is impractical. Each cancer treatment its purpose, advantages and disadvantages. In addition, for one patient a certain way is acceptable and the other not.

The obvious advantage of chemotherapy is a quick effect. A month and a half (1-2 year) results are treatment. An obvious disadvantage of methods – numerous side effects:

  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • set on edge;
  • hair loss;
  • menstrual cycle;
  • early menopause;
  • reduction of leukocytes (high susceptibility to various infections);
  • fatigue, tiredness;
  • bleeding, bruising.

Used drugs

Malignant breast tumor is sensitive to the following medicines:

  • methotrexate;
  • cyclophosphamide;
  • adriblastin;
  • docetaxel;
  • xeloda;
  • 5-fluorouracil;
  • paclitaxel and other.

Scheme of treatment are determined individually, depending on the extent of the tumor, its type, the result of surgical treatment, the sensitivity of the patient to certain medications.

The effectiveness of the method