Chemotherapy usually involves a combination of drugs given over several months

You will receive a dose of chemotherapy every few weeks over the course of several months. The exact schedule will depend on the drugs you are given.

Chemotherapy drugs are usually given directly into your bloodstream through a drip over a period of minutes or hours. You might find the insertion of the drip uncomfortable, but administration of chemotherapy does not usually cause any other pain. You may be given your chemotherapy through a fine plastic tube called a central line which is inserted into a vein and stays in place for the entire duration of your treatment, meaning you do not have to have a drip inserted every time you have treatment.

You will usually be given chemotherapy by a specialist chemotherapy nurse as an outpatient. If you do not live close to a large hospital or cancer centre, you will normally be able to receive this treatment at a local hospital or chemotherapy unit. Your overall wellbeing will be reviewed before each cycle takes place to see how you are and whether you are well enough for treatment. Chemotherapy can affect blood cells, so your blood count must be checked before each chemotherapy cycle.

You will usually be given chemotherapy by a specialist chemotherapy nurse as an outpatient. If you do not live close to a large hospital or cancer centre, you will normally be able to receive this treatment at a local hospital or chemotherapy unit. Your overall wellbeing will be reviewed before each cycle takes place to see how you are and whether you are well enough for treatment. Chemotherapy can affect blood cells, so your blood count must be checked before each chemotherapy cycle.

You will usually be given chemotherapy by a specialist chemotherapy nurse as an outpatient. If you do not live close to a large hospital or cancer centre, you will normally be able to receive this treatment at a local hospital or chemotherapy unit. Your overall wellbeing will be reviewed before each cycle takes place to see how you are and whether you are well enough for treatment. Chemotherapy can affect blood cells, so your blood count must be checked before each chemotherapy cycle.

You will usually be given chemotherapy by a specialist chemotherapy nurse as an outpatient. Your overall wellbeing will be reviewed before each cycle takes place to see how you are and whether you are well enough for treatment. Chemotherapy can affect blood cells, so your blood count must be checked before each chemotherapy cycle.

Which chemotherapy drugs will I be given?

There are a number of different chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer. The particular drugs you are given will be planned to suit your particular circumstances. The way in which your chemotherapy is given – the particular drugs and when they are administered – is called a regimen.

You will normally be treated with at least two different drugs – this is known as multi-agent chemotherapy or combination therapy. Research studies have shown that this is generally more effective than treatment regimens based on just one drug. This is because the different drugs act in slightly different ways, so together they have a potentially greater impact on your tumour

Your oncologist will discuss your specific regimen with you before you begin treatment, including any potential side effects and how they might affect your quality of life.

Information Standard

Information last reviewed: November 2017

Next review due: November 2020

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