Chemotherapy is often used in Breast Cancer, both in early stages and advanced stages.
Breast Cancer Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs ( Injections or Tablets ) that act against Cancer cells, in an attempt to reduce the size of the Cancer, or to make sure the Cancer does not come back.
Whether a person with Breast Cancer will require chemotherapy will depend on many factors including
– Tumor size
– Involvement of Lymph nodes
– Age of the individual
– Receptor status of the tumor
– Gene signature of the tumor
More and more factors are being included and existing factors refined, to precisely identify which individuals will benefit from chemotherapy in early stages.
Generally, advanced stage cancers will require chemotherapy, especially if their tumor is hormone receptor negative.
Chemotherapy is generally given in ‘cycles’.
It means, the drug will be given periodically, say once every 3 weeks or once every week, for a duration of 3-4 months.
The number of ‘cycles’ will depend upon how frequently they are given.
Weekly schedules might involve around 10-12 cycles, and 3-weekly schedules might involve 6-8 cycles.
But generally it will be given for a period of 3-4 months.
Our Oncology team will decide the optimum number of chemo cycles for you.
Since Breast Cancer is a curable disease, we may have to accept some temporary side effects to properly deliver Chemotherapy, in an attempt to prevent the cancer from coming back.
The common side effects include
– Feeling tired
– Vomiting sensation
– Low energy levels
– Decreased appetite
– Hair loss
All of the above mentioned side effects are temporary, and will get better before the next cycle of chemo.
There are many different drugs that can be used as part of Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer.
Depending on the type of drugs used, the cost of chemotherapy for each cycle can vary enormously, from patient to patient, and from city to city.
Generally the cost per cycle of chemo ranges from 5000 INR up to 50,000 INR.
The overall cost of chemo, for 3-4 months, can range from 30,000 INR to 3 lakhs INR.