chemotherapy for breast cancer

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My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor had been detected previously, but thinking that it was malignant, I removed. When you saw the biopsy was carcinoma. The resection performed in the area (without removal of the breast) and axillary dissection because the technique could not apply to him sentinel node and the tumor excised. The result of this has been that no involved nodes, but has been told it will have to have radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Why does it have to take this treatment if there is nothing theoretically cancer? If a preventive-adjuvant question, I think his name-, is it necessary to enforce the two therapies? much Home fear effects chemotherapy. Having no involved nodes and the tumor out,what kind of chemotherapy you apply? Will it be as aggressive as to cause him the typical side effects? Have you hair fall? Will you have to do many sessions?

– Radiation therapy is inextricably linked to breast conserving surgery.They are, in fact, two stages of a treatment . If the tumor is removed or only a portion of the breast and subsequently this is not radiated, the possibility of relapse in the remaining gland is very high. Even completely removing the breast, there are cases where the radiation is desirable.Happen, for example, with large tumors or near the edge of the surgery, they also have a very high risk of relapse in the skin near the scar.

Chemotherapy decreases mainly the risk of metastases in organs such as the bones, liver or lungs. Metastases arise because, at the time of surgery, the tumor had spread through the circulatory system, although as cells that remain hidden from the current detection methods. These cells multiply in the organs where they have been hidden, sometimes many years later, leading to metastasis. This is why chemotherapy is recommended “adjuvant” (or preventive) to many women operated for breast cancer , although they are apparently cured.

Some time ago, chemotherapy is reserved only for those women whose cancer had reached the lymph nodes under the arm, because these are the most at risk of relapse. Today, it is also recommended for patients with poor prognostic factors, such as a tumor of large size, especially malignant looking cells (this is called the “degree” of the tumor), absence of hormone receptors, and others.

The decision to receive adjuvant chemotherapy or no responsibility, ultimately, to the patient herself. This should get detailed information about your oncologist two extremes: how effective would expect from treatment and what the toxicity . Any oncologist should inform the patient about the risk of relapse with and without chemotherapy. It is very important that this information is expressed in absolute terms and not relative. For example, if chemotherapy reduces by 20% the risk of relapse (relative), the absolute benefit will be 14% in women with a risk of relapse without chemotherapy 70%, but only 1% in other better prognosis with a risk of relapse of 5%.

Naturally, these figures refer to groups of people and are unable to predict future events of a particular case. But they are very useful for discussion between the patient and her doctor , to allow that they represent what is being played over treatment.

Today there are several appropriate chemotherapy regimens for the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer. Each center applied one or the other by virtue of the characteristics of each patient and according to their own experience. Some (not in all cases) allow keep hair.However, are deprecated because it is less efficient than more modern than ever produce alopecia. Still, it may be appropriate for patients at low risk of relapse and extreme interest in preventing hair loss.

The adjuvant chemotherapy are usually not particularly aggressive, with the help of supportive treatments that are already widespread, most women can complete treatment away some normal life . One such treatment typically lasts four to six months.

RICARDO Cubedo

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