Chemotherapy is often abbreviated and commonly known as ‘Chemo’. It is a systematic treatment that is used to kill cancer cells. It affects the whole body by going through the bloodstream. Chemotherapy uses medicines to weaken and destroy cells at the cancer affected area. It is used either to shrink down the tumor or as a treatment if it reoccurs. It is also used to treat when there are possibilities of these cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body.

Medicines for chemotherapy treatment are very less in number. Mostly a combination of two or more medicines will be used for chemotherapy for breast cancer. These medicines as tablets/capsules are taken orally whereas some are injected in the vein. These medicines are used till their side effects are unbearable or till their effect is over.

Chemotherapy is used in breast cancer treatment at two stages. At an early stage, it is used to remove cancer cells that may remain even after the surgery. Thus, this reduces the risk of reappearance of these cancer cells. It is also used in an advanced stage to destroy and damage the cancer cells as much as possible.

Before deciding the regime of chemotherapy, the doctor takes into consideration factors like your general health, menopausal status, and stages of breast cancer. Advanced stage of breast cancer is known as the ‘metastatic disease’. It is the Stage III or Stage IV of breast cancer. Brest Chemotherapy is used in an advanced stage to destroy all the possible cancer cells. New medicines, used for the treatment of this advanced stage, help these patients to live longer.

The side effect of chemotherapy treatment varies from person to person. It also depends on the medicines prescribed and the duration of the treatment. Some side effects vanish after some duration of the treatment, but some treatments have long lasting effects on your body. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include memory loss, infection, fatigue, hair changes, and sores in the mouth or throat. Doctors use different tests to check out whether the treatment is giving the desired results or not.

Breast Cancer Chemotherapy treatments are taken in two stages. They are as follows:

Before Surgery: It helps to shrink the tumor. You still need a surgery after it. It may include other treatments or even radiotherapy. It may reduce the chances of breast cancer returning back.

After surgery: This treatment is known as adjuvant therapy. They are mostly used to kill the cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body as well as re-occurrence of these cells after treatment.

For some women, the breast cancer reoccurs or spreads to all parts of the body. This is known as secondary stage breast cancer or metastatic disease. It can be also treated with the help of chemotherapy.

Patients usually take other dietary supplements and herbal medicines along with chemotherapy. This is not recommended by doctors as they may not get along with the treatment and may cause harmful effects. So, if you wish to opt for these supplements consult your doctor about it. Avoid purchasing over the counter medicines or from other medical practitioners.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Alina, a professor of Medicine and doing research on
cancer chemotherapy treatment.
For more detail click here Breast Chemotherapy