Mammology: Breast cancer — Chemotherapy. Treatment
The essence of chemotherapy is intake of drugs (cytostatics), causing the death of tumor cells. In breast cancer, this treatment can be used as a standalone procedure or in addition to surgery. Depending on the situation, the chemotherapy pursues different goals.
The indications for administration of anticancer drugs are:
- Operable breast cancer. In this case, the treatment is administered before or after surgery. During the preoperative period, the cytostatics help reduce the swelling and alleviate the surgical manipulations. In the postoperative period, they destroy hidden metastasis and prevent the relapse.
- Generalized neoplastic process. The presence of distant metastases is an obstacle to mastectomy (breast removal). For such patients, chemotherapy is recommended as the only treatment. The cycle allows reducing the size of metastatic tumors and improving the quality of life.
The therapy is carried out in cycle, the number of which is determined by the attending physician. On the average, the treatment includes 4 to 7 cycles.
The drug is administered intravenously in a day hospital. One procedure takes about 3 hours. In some cases, the patient may need a 2-day stay, during which it continuously receives the cytostatic.
The patients usually report the following side effects:
- nausea, vomiting,
- reduction in the number of leukocytes and platelets in blood,
- hair loss.
To eliminate the adverse reactions, the antiemetic drugs are prescribed. The blood transfusion is conducted, when required. Upon cycle completion, the oncologist provides recommendations for further treatment.Hide
See also for breast cancer:
- Reconstruction with an expander or allo prosthesis
- Diep-flap plastic reconstruction with own tissues
- Reconstruction with own tissue or implant after radical mastectomy
- Radical mastectomy
- Lumpectomy and lymphadenectomy by metastases to lymph nodes
- Sectoral resection with flap plastic
- Cancer rehabilitation
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