In cancer treatment, chemotherapy refers to the use of drugs whose main effect is either to kill or to slow the growth of rapidly multiplying cancer cells. Chemotherapy often includes using a combination of drugs, since this approach is more effective than using a single drug alone. There are many drug combinations used to treat breast cancer.
Breast cancer refers to cancer that begins in the cells within the breasts. It can metastasize spread from the breasts to other areas of the body, such as the bones and liver. Most of the early symptoms of breast cancer involve changes to the breasts.
Skip to Content. Use the menu to see other pages. This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer.
However, you may have some long-term side effects. New side effects may occur months or even years after treatment ends. Talk with your health care provider about any health issues you have. Although some conditions such as early menopause cannot be reversed, the symptoms can be treated.
If you're struggling to find what you need, call our Support line on 7 days a week, 8am-8pm. We have tips to help you manage them. Some women may have side effects that do not go away or develop years after treatment for breast cancer.
Breast cancer side effects are symptoms or ailments that develop due to the treatments used or as a result of the disease itself. Long-term side effects begin during treatment and continue after all treatment is stopped. Late side effects are symptoms that may appear weeks, months or years after treatment ends.
Your region is set as Change region. To help us to give you the most accurate information, please select the area of the UK you are from:. Side effects are relatively common with chemotherapy but they usually stop once treatment has finished.
Chemotherapy chemo uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously injected into your vein or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Occasionally, chemo may be given directly into the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the possible risks and side effects. Most women with breast cancer will have some type of surgery to remove the tumor. Depending on the type of breast cancer and how advanced it is, you might need other types of treatment as well, either before or after surgery, or sometimes both.