Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
Malignant tumor in the female breast is treated in a complex way before the operation (irradiation) and after it. There is a chemotherapy for breast cancer systemically for the whole body, the procedure destroys the tumor regardless of the location of the localization. The benefit of such treatment is that the drug is introduced into the genome of the cancer cell at the time of its division. Chemopreparations (poisons and toxins) stop growth or destroy neoplasms, preventing further spread of cancer.
Purpose and methods of conducting
Chemotherapy for breast cancer:
- reduces the number of cancer cells and destroys neoplasms;
- eliminates invisible micrometastases;
- reduces the tumor before surgery;
- is the prevention of metastasis.
Procedures are assigned courses, as the cells are constantly divided and for one course to finally stop their reproduction is impossible. The number of obligatory cycles depends on the stage and aggressiveness of the oncological process, the immunohistochemical data and the patient's health. Oncologists are prescribed from 4 to 7, in rare cases up to 9 courses of chemotherapy. Used antitumor and synthetic substances, herbal products and hormones.
Depending on the purpose, one of the variants of therapy (or a combination thereof) is prescribed:
- Adjuvant therapy (ancillary) is carried out in-patient after surgery with pills, capsules and injections. It is prescribed at stages 2 and 3. In this case, the goal is to destroy the remnants of tumors in the postoperative wound or spread on the bloodstream. Some schemes require controlled administration of doses within two days, this requires hospitalization of the patient. According to clinical trials, adjuvant therapy reduces the risk of relapse.
- Neoadjuvant treatment is performed before surgery. The goal is to reduce the size of the tumor in the breast and increase the chances of performing organ-saving operations.
- Therapeutic therapy is prescribed for stages 3 and 4 of oncology, when there are distant metastases and the size of the tumor is large.
- The preventive method is prescribed by the doctor in order to prevent relapse.
Depending on the form, the oncologist selects a group of drugs:
- Antimetabolites("Gemzar "5-FU") affect the genetic structure. During the division, the structure of the cell DNA is destroyed and it dies.
- Alkylating agents("Cyclophosphamide") destroy the protein that regulates genetics. By the action of the means are similar to radiation.
- Anti-cancer antibiotics("Adriamycin") slow down the division of genes (replication).
- "Taxanes" ("Paclitaxel "Docetaxel") is a separate group of drugs that prevents the division of cancer cells.
Depending on the intended remedy and toxic effect on the body, chemotherapy is divided by color into red, yellow, white and blue. Red color of antitumor agents is the most toxic and aggressive, preparations of other colors are more sparing. To effectively influence cancer cells and less aggressive reaction to the body, modern treatment regimens imply the alternate use of drugs of different colors.
Methods of drug administration
By the number of drugs, the therapy is divided into two types: mono- and polychemotherapy. The use of one or more species in combination or in combination with hormonal agents is implied. The oral method (tablets, capsules) is the simplest and most convenient (no need for medical personnel), but less effective (there is no certainty that the necessary dose of the drug is absorbed).
The intravenous method with the help of droppers and injections is advantageous: the introduction of drugs is dosed, the entry into the blood is rapid.
Another method is the injection of injections in certain areas. Thus, the maximum concentration of the drug in the body is reached. In some cases, low doses of drugs are injected continuously into the body with a portable pump that feeds the drug for weeks or even months.
The doctor registers the regimen, dosages, intervals between doses. In some cases, the probability and types of toxic manifestations are prescribed. The tolerability and effectiveness of treatment is controlled, and the side effects are eliminated medically.
Complications during and after the chemotherapy cycle for breast cancer
Side effects depend on the number of courses, the prescribed methods and dosages. Often they appear as:
- disorders of the menstrual cycle and malfunction of the ovaries;
- fast fatigue, lethargy and drowsiness;
- changes in taste and olfactory sensations;
- diarrhea, nausea and vomiting;
- disruption of the functioning and functioning of the gastrointestinal tract;
- death of a part of blood cells;
- thinning and hair loss, stratification of nails and deterioration of the skin;
- memory impairment.
Against the background of a decrease in immunity during the fight against breast cancer, infectious diseases, damage to internal organs and their systems (problems with the heart and nerves, kidneys or bladder) are possible. Whatever the consequences, they do not become the reason for the cancellation of the course. The main thing is a positive effect and the destruction of cancer.
Chemotherapy for Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage 4 cancer is an uncontrolled process of proliferation and spread of a tumor in one or both mammary glands, in which neighboring organs and tissues are damaged. Treatment of such patients implies only prolongation and facilitation of life. Tactics is caused by a decrease in cellular differentiation, preservation of the functional properties of organs and systems. If the goal is to cure cancer, aggressive schemes and participation in clinical trials will be required, where new experimental techniques are presented.