Chemotherapy is used predominantly in combination of two or three medicines. The common chemotherapy regimens include: AC: Adriamycin and Cytoxan, AT: Adriamycin and Taxotere, CMF: Cytoxan, methotrexate, and fluorouracil, FAC: fluorouracil, Adriamycin, and Cytoxan, CAF: Cytoxan, Adriamycin, and fluorouracil. Of these the FAC and CAF regimens have the combination of medicines as mentioned but they are listed separately because doses and frequencies used are different. In some cases no combination and only one medicine such as Adriamycin or another anthracycline, or a taxane (Taxotere, Taxol, or Abraxane) may also be used by the doctor.
Cancer characteristics: the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, HER2 positive or negative status, hormone receptor status and lymph node status of the cancer will likely affect the chemotherapy regimen.
The menopausal status and general medical status of the patients health is taken into consideration when deciding on the chemotherapy regimen. If the patient has medical history of heart problem or blood pressure and is on medication for any other medical condition, then that will influence the chemotherapy regimen.
Chemotherapy is advisable for all ages and each regimen recommended to patients is unique and individual as per the patient’s cancer requirement. Diverse effective treatment plans with different chemotherapy combinations have been tried and tested by the doctors.
Chemotherapy has side effects and the relatively short term chemotherapy side effects can be controlled by adopting a healthy life style and intake of medicines. Short term chemotherapy side effects include nausea, fatigue and infection risk among others.
Chemotherapy regimen is defined with the dosage of medicine, duration of course and the effective combination. It is designed uniquely to attack and destroy all the various kinds of cells in the cancer growth. In the combination chemotherapy regimen, care is taken to ensure that the benefits from the medicines do not overlap and the side effects are minimum too. It is optimised in a way that the side effects do not weigh out the benefits, and there is an advantageous balance of the two. The therapy is aimed in a manner that the cancer cells are not able to escape or make a way out of the destruction process.