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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Will it be safe to go through chemotherapy for breast cancer?

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Dr. Indranil Ghosh

Oncologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1466 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 21 Jan 2013 in Breast Cancer
Question: dear sir
my relatvive is having breast cancer. it has spread in other parts of body.
i am sending all fnac, biopsy, pet &er/pr reprts. please suggest us your opinion.chemothreapy will be suitable for us or not. what should be other alternate.
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Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 2 hours later
Hi
Thanks for writing in.
I am sorry to know about your relative. She is having breast cancer with metastases (spread) to bones and some lymph nodes. It is not curable but for most patients treatment can improve symptoms and quality of life for a certain length of time (1-4 years).
As she is ER/PR+ and lung/liver are OK, I would suggest hormonal therapy (tablets)and bisphosphonates (a medicine which reduces bone complications like fracture and bone pain). Chemotherapy can be delayed till she is hormone-refractory (not responding to hormonal tablets) as it has quite a few side effects.
Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for further follow-up queries, if any.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh 20 hours later
thanx a lot
IN XXXXXXX XXXXXXX DOCTORS HAVE SUGGESTED CHEMOTHREAPY AS WELL AS HORMONE THREAPY.CAN CHEMO NOT CURE THIS . WHAT IS D STAGE OF THIS CANCER. IF WE START CHEMO, HOW MUCH LIFE SPAN CAN BE INCREASED.PLEASE GIVE ME ALL SUGGESTIONS IN DETAILS.THANKYOU VERY MUCH.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 3 hours later
Hi
Thanks for follow-up.
This is stage IV disease, not curable by any means as of today. Our goal of therapy is palliation, ie symptom control, good quality of life and prolong life.
Hormone therapy has got highest benefit with low side effects. Chemo also benefits but with more side effects. It is best to try hormone therapy first and when that fails to consider chemo. She will definitely receive both at some point, but not together.

Life span-2-4 years. Whether we give chemo earlier or later will not affect life span.

regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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