By Lillie D. Shockney, Gary R. Shapiro

The single textual content on hand to supply either the doctor's and patient's perspectives, this e-book offers authoritative, sensible solutions on your questions. Written by way of Lillie Shockney, Administrative Director of the Johns Hopkins Avon origin Breast middle, teacher within the division of surgical procedure at Johns Hopkins college s university of medication, and tireless breast melanoma sufferer recommend, with remark from actual Read more...

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Extra resources for 100 questions & answers about advanced and metastatic breast cancer

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Indb 29 8/20/08 12:32:28 PM 1 0 0 Q & A A bout A dvanced and M etastatic B reast C ancer 26. What is chemotherapy and how does it work? Chemotherapy (“chemo”) is a cancer treatment that uses medicines to stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy (“chemo”) is a cancer treatment that uses medicines to stop the growth of cancer cells. Technically, drugs that kill bacteria and other germs are also called chemotherapy, but the term is most commonly used to refer to cancer-killing drugs. Although most people think of chemotherapy as intravenous infusions, it can also be taken by mouth or injected into a muscle.

The same barrier that prevents germs from reaching the brain and protects you from infections also prevents chemotherapy from reaching your brain and protects brain metastases from chemotherapy. It is very difficult to break down this barrier. The only effective way to get chemotherapy into the brain or the tissues surrounding it (meninges) is to bypass it. Doctors do this by putting the chemotherapy directly into the fluid that surrounds the brain. From there, it can penetrate the cancer cells that seed the lining of the brain (carci� nomatous meningitis).

It can take anywhere from 1 to 8 or more hours to get your treatment, depending on the type of chemotherapy that you are getting. You will probably get your chemotherapy while seated in a comfortable reclining-type chair. There are beds available in some infusion centers, but you will probably be more comfortable in the specially designed chemotherapy recliners. If there are no TVs at the place where you get chemotherapy, you may want to bring your own DVD player, iPod, or a book to read. You should dress comfortably, and you may want to bring a snack or light lunch.

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