Dosage of Chaemo and Side Effects

Hello everyone,

My mother undergone breast removal surgery (invasive Apocrine Carcinoma) 3 weeks before and in process of getting through next step. Requesting your help to furnish the same.

Her ER/PR report is positive and Her2 negative.

1 - What is the standard number of Chaemos given to a patient?

2 - She is 63 years old. Do we anticipate any side effects which we need to be careful?

3 - How long this process should go for?

Thanks and Regards,


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12 Replies

  • Hi Nanda...sorry to hear about your mother.

    Ans1: dr. shah will answer this.

    Ans2: there is so many side effect of chemo but depends on person to person...means how your body can tolerate chemo...i wish all will be fine...but the main side effect of chemo is nausea, hair loss, sore throat, lose of taste, some people feel gastric problem for few days after chemo...but the main side effect is low TLC (White blood cell count)...average TLC count is 4000 - 11000 bcu if TLC goes down its little tough to cure infection...but no worry generally it can be controlled with healthy diet...

    Ans3: Generally the whole treatment take 4-8 months it depends upon the dose of chemo and other suggested therapies.

    on the basis of your mother report as you said, its ER/PR positive and she is HER with the financial prospective its good bcu HER positive medicine is very expensive.

    I hope now they will give chemo then radiation and last may be they will suggest some hormone therapy (like tablets, which she can take at home only)

    i would like to add here one more point...positive attitude along with the treatment is very important to get rid from this problem..take care of cleanliness and hygiene...drink more water minimum 3 lt per day...

  • Well said, manish. You have made important points there.

  • Sorry to hear about your mother Nanda. manish has explained what we have all gone through . Take care of your ma and God give all the strength to you and your family. We all pray for you all.

  • Dear Nandkumar,

    Sorry to hear about your mother but don't worry she is going to be alright soon.T. I'm also ER/PR positive and HER negative,got the treatment conservation surgery. chemo and radiation.hough I'm going to answer but Dr Sumeet is the right person to guide you

    1.Since breast surgery already done so the chemo given is the called adjuvant chemotherapy,. I got standard chemotherapy following FEC100 protocol, which generally given in 6 cycle with the gap of 21 days.Sometimes, if someone is not tolerable to this than doses are reduced and cycles are increased.So. your doctor is best to describe you about chemo regimes depending on the health of your mother.

    2.Though there are many side effects but now there are so many medicines to overcome these side effects. They can be well managed, only thing what we can do is moral support to the patient, what we all need is love, care, and tenderness.:). You will get a lot of moral support on this forum, we all are here with you and your mother.

    Best wishes


  • hi nanda

    sorry to hear about ur mother.

    Manish has told u about all the side effects but apart from that my nails had become black, I had also faced one severe problem when the chemo drugs went off my veins it created lots of problems so be care full for that also.

    Take care

  • Hi Nandakumar - As Shirdi has told she had problems when given chemo thro veins. Better ask to inser

  • Hi Nandakumar - As Shirdi has told she had problems when given chemo thro veins. Better ask to insert PORT - this is a minor operation but is very helpful.

    Rest chemo itself is not painful but side effects like nausea, weakness, hair loss will be there but after completion of chemo everything will be slowly and steadily fine. Lots of liquids and water is to be taken during chemo.

    The whole process may take 7 to 8 months depending upon the chemo cycles and cycles of radiation.

    ER/PR positive & Her2 negative - I think is good - my sister is also of the same. She has been prescribed tablets for 5 years - Novladex

    One more thing a moral support from whole family is very very necessary which will help her to come out. Be positive and take care of your mother. Do keep posting.

  • Well said, kontak. And I would support your advice of PORT. I feel, PORT makes life simple and it's easier to undergo chemo with a PORT

  • Nanda - When I first found this group my cousin was dealing with chemo after a double mastectomy. I put some ideas together for her from things people have posted in my leukemia groups or that I learned dealing with my breast cancer. If you go to the right of this page, click on chemotherapy, then on Little Tricks for dealing with chemotherapy you will find my post. The links for the neutropenic diet apparently didn't work. It is a low neutrophil count - a part of the white blood cell count - that can make one susceptible to infections. If it is low it is important to eat only well cooked foods to avoid infections.

    It is especially important, as someone else posted, to drink lots of water. If your mother doesn't have a port it makes it easier to access her veins for infusions and blood draws. I once made the mistake of going for an appointment slightly dehydrated. It took several pokes before the nurses could find a vein. The water also flushes the chemo through her system, which is important.

    Think of some little way to treat your mother or for whoever is with her to treat her - a little mark of victory that each session has taken her closer to the end. It can be as simple as a special note or card. My cousin and her husband went for an ice cream cone after each treatment for her chemo and radiation. Some people find it positive to count how many treatments are behind them, others, how many are left. You will get a sense of that from your mother. Make sure she has the help she needs, but don't baby her. You want her to feel as strong and empowered as possible. If something is important to her (cooking or whatever) find ways to help her, but don't shut her out from doing it.

    Sending lots of positive thoughts to your mother and all of those supporting her. It is in some ways harder to be the caregiver than the patient. You and she will find your way, and the people here are wonderful supporters if and when either of you, or other family members, need it!

  • I guess I need to 'pin' a thread on the right side, as to how to navigate the forum and ho to search for answers, like you mention in your first paragraph above. We have so many good posts by so many different people sharing their experiences. I will edit and see if they are properly tagged or not

  • 1. The standard number of chemotherapy for any breast cancer patient is usually 6 or 8 depending on the tpye of disease. Occasionally, for those who are at a low risk for recurrence (the pathology report does not show any high risk factors), we give 4 cycles as well. That is the decision of a medical oncologist

    2. Chemo will surely produce a few side effects but most of them can be minimized by giving medicines before hand.

    3. Most chemotherapy cycles last 21 days. So, on an average, if 6 cycles are given, the time will be around 4 months or so.

  • Really thankful for the response. I am getting more confident throigh this. Friday my oncologist will propose the next actions. Will surely cime back to this group with that

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