Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

We’ll create a customized chemotherapy treatment to attack your breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is the treatment most commonly associated with cancer, but not every breast cancer patient will need it. Medical oncologists at Henry Ford work closely with you to customize the most appropriate treatment for your breast cancer.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to damage or destroy cancer cells. We inject or infuse a combination of medications into the bloodstream to attack cancer cells in the breast or, if the cancer has spread, in other areas of the body. It may be used alongside treatments such as breast cancer surgery, radiation therapy, or biological therapy.

Chantelle's Story

Chantelle says she couldn’t have made it through her battle with breast cancer without her family and care from the Henry Ford staff, who, as Chantelle says, “had her back” every step of the way.

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 Types of breast cancer chemotherapy

Our medical oncologists track the latest in breast cancer chemotherapy treatments so you get the most advanced therapy possible. There are a few terms to understand about types of chemotherapy:

  • Adjuvant chemotherapy: We administer this treatment along with breast cancer surgery to reduce the risk of breast cancer returning.
  • Extended adjuvant chemotherapy: This treatment can continue 10 or 15 years after surgery, rather than the more typical five years. In some cases, the long-term health benefits of extended chemotherapy treatment may outweigh the risks.
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy: This treatment takes place before breast cancer surgery to shrink the tumor and preserve as much healthy breast tissue as possible.

What to expect during chemotherapy

Every cancer responds differently to treatment. But chemotherapy causes the cancer to disappear or shrink in 30 to 60 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer.

Your breast cancer chemotherapy regimen may require an outpatient infusion treatment at the hospital, or it may allow you to simply take a pill at home.

Chemotherapy may cause you to feel tired or suffer from chemo brain (mental fogginess or difficulty focusing). You also will be more susceptible to infection after chemotherapy treatment. Your doctor can help you manage these or other symptoms you may experience.

Breast cancer clinical trials

Researchers are always investigating new breast cancer chemotherapy treatments. Our breast cancer patients at times have access to clinical trials for these new treatments. Ask your cancer team whether a clinical trial might be right for you.

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167

Clinical Trials

Cancer Institute