Does chemotherapy work for breast cancer?

It depends. Chemo treats the whole body to kill cancer cells that may have escaped from the breast tumor. Sometimes chemo is used to shrink the breast tumor before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy). Breast cancers that respond best to chemotherapy are those with a high ki-67 (proliferation rate), er negative, and/or her2 positive.
Some yes, some no. Some cancers are more chemotherapy sensitive than others. Neoadjuvant therapy in appropriate patients can answer this question and provide additional prognostic information. In the adjuvant setting oncotype DX testing for er+ tumors gives additional biologic information as to which patients get most or all benefit from hormonal therapy and which may truly need/benefit from cytotoxic chemotherapy.
Yes. Different regimens for different cancers-that vary with the cancer's hormonal and genetic make - up. - added time of treatment if lymph nodes positive. The biggest breakthrough is with designer targeted drugs eg. Herceptin (trastuzumab) aimed at its target her 2 oncogene on selective cancers-- that has a great added response when given with chemotherapy.

Related Questions

Does the penguin cold cap therapy work. ..To keep hair from falling out due to chemotherapy for breast cancer?

Sometimes. Don't count on it, but i've seen it work. It takes a lot of motivation, and, can be a little uncomfortable. But, if motivated, worth a try! Read more...
Sometimes. It is very uncomfortable and cumbersome but works in some patients. The hair loss during chemotherpay is completely reversible and usually 100 days after end of all chemotherapy your hair will grow back. Read more...

How effective is chemotherapy for treating breast cancer?

Very effective. Chemo initially started with combinations like CMF and then changed to combinations of antibody plus chemo such as taxol plus Herceptin (trastuzumab). These drugs alone and in combination best used as a neoadjuvant prior to surgical resection or when at high risk in the adjuvant setting to prevent recurrence. Once metastasis happens, there can be chemo control but cure is rare. Read more...

What sorts of chemotherapy are most common for breast cancer?

AC / Taxol (paclitaxel) vs TCH. It all depends on the cancer's subtype er./pr her-2 status or in the future microarray analysis -the treatment is individualized on the tumor and patient characteristics, number of nodes may dictate extra cycles of chemo +/- radiation. Dose dense every 2 weeks at a lower dose is popular alternative versus every 3 weeks larger dose with Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) recovery.If her2+ than added Herceptin for a yr. Read more...
Many diff regimens. There are many different regimens utilizing multiple drugs and ranging 3-6 months. Common drugs are anthracyclines, taxanes, and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) in various combinations - acx4, tcx4(or 6), tac x 6, acx4 ->tx4, dose dense ac->t, weekly taxol. Other options/drugs can also be considered in the metastatic setting. A patient should seek a medical oncologist experience in breast to rec the best regimen. Read more...

Should someone go through chemotherapy if she has breast cancer?

Need more info. Would need to have much more information on the type & stage of breast cancer. All this information helps the medical oncologist work with the patient to determine what treatments are most likely to be needed, helpful & successful. You need to discuss this with your oncologist. Read more...
Maybe. As with most other cancers, it depends on many factors but it would be safe to say that in certain situations, chemo is an integral part of the treatment for breast cancer. You need to talk to an oncogist about it. The goals of therapy should justify the potential toxicity. Best regards. Read more...

How effective is the TAC chemotherapy regimen for treating breast cancer?

Very! TAC stands for Taxotere, Adriamycin, (doxorubicin) and Cyclophosphamide. It is one of the strongest regimens for treating breast cancer, and some would say too strong. Depending on the type of breast cancer you have, or the stage, you might be able to receive a gentler regimen. If you want to know more, get a second opinion. Read more...

How long is the chemotherapy for a stage 2a node negative breast cancer?

It depends. There are several chemotherapy options for stage 2a breast cancer. Characteristics of the patient and the cancer are required to make a decision on the type of chemotherapy (and whether chemotherapy is even necessary). Chemotherapy would be anywhere from about 8 weeks to a year (herceptin-or trastuzumab treatment, if recommended, requires a year of treatment). Read more...
Depends. Will depend on the chemotherapy regimen chosen, the age of patient, other prognostic factors i.E oncotype dx, to see the recurrence score, heart function etc. . In general, we give 4 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy when we use tc or ac. However, discuss in detail with your oncologist. This is something that you want to know prior to therapy- what kind, how long, what is the goal, side effects etc. Read more...

How can I support my friend who has undergone chemotherapy for breast cancer?

Do support her. She may need your emotional support and other help. Go meet her and ask if you can help her with any probelms or issues of concern to her. She would appreciate your concern for her welfare and your offer to help her.Just the company of a good friend can be a big morale booster. Read more...

Please tell me what are other options besides chemotherapy for breast cancer?

Depends. Chemo is used when breast cancer has metastasized around the body, especially for tumors without hormone receptors (er/pr). It also is sometimes used to kill any microscopic cells that could grow in the future. Tumors that have er/pr may sometimes be treated with hormone therapy instead. Her2 positive tumors may often be treated with antibodies or pills that target her2 instead of or with chemo. Read more...
It depends. It depends on the type of breast cancer. If positive for estrogen and/or Progesterone receptors ("er" and "pr") there are other options, though in some cases it may not be as good as taking these meds in conjunction with chemo. If stage 4 breast cancer, there are many clinical trials. Again, it depends on the cancer stage, and the markers er/pr, and her2 from the cancer specimen. Read more...