Chemotherapy for breast cancer uses powerful drugs to target and destroy fast-growing breast cancer cells. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is frequently used along with other treatments for breast cancer, such as surgery. But chemotherapy for breast cancer also may be used as the primary treatment, when surgery isn't an option.
Various chemotherapy drugs are available to treat breast cancer. Breast cancer chemotherapy drugs may be used individually or in combination to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
Chemotherapy for breast cancer can help you live longer and reduce your chances of having the cancer come back (recur). But chemotherapy for breast cancer also carries a risk of side effects — some temporary and mild, others more serious or permanent. Your doctor can help you decide whether chemotherapy for breast cancer is a good choice for you.
Oct. 23, 2010
- Breast cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/index. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Breast cancer treatment (PDQ): Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/breast/HealthProfessional. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Hayes DF. Clinical decisions in systemic adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Burstein H. Adjuvant chemotherapy for early stage HER2-negative breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Hayes DF. Systemic chemotherapy for HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Making treatment decisions: Guide to chemotherapy. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.com/chemotherapy.aspx. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- Chemotherapy principles: An in-depth discussion of the techniques and its role in treatment. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002995-pdf.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- About survivorship. American Society of Clinical Oncologists. http://www.cancer.net/patient/Survivorship/About+Survivorship. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- Questions and answers about chemotherapy. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemotherapy-and-you/page2. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- Chemotherapy — Your personal experience. American Society of Clinical Oncologists. http://www.cancer.net/patient/All+About+Cancer/Cancer.Net+Features/Treatments%2C+Tests%2C+and+Procedures/Chemotherapy%26mdash%3BYour+Personal+Experience. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- What happens after treatment for breast cancer? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-after-follow-up. Accessed July 12, 2010.