Adjuvant therapy / chemotherapy
Adjuvant therapy takes place after the surgical removal of breast cancer. It is an addition to surgery that aims to eradicate potential micrometastases within the body. It reduces the likeliness that cancer might come back, and it increases the healing and the survival rate.
How is adjuvant therapy carried out?
During adjuvant therapy, so-called cytostatics are administered, which stop the growth of the tumor cells or cause them to die. However, healthy cells that proliferate often are also frequently targeted, e.g., cells of the hair, mucous membrane and blood-building bone marrow. Subject to the type of chemotherapy, different side effects can occur. Thanks to modern supportive therapy, many of these side effects can be reduced or prevented.
Adjuvant therapy is an outpatient treatment that is undergone in several cycles, with pauses of 1-3 weeks between each cycle.
A thorough and attentive care is imperative during adjuvant therapy in order to detect and treat side effects early enough.
What you can do during adjuvant therapy
What you can do to reduce side effects of the adjuvant chemotherapy:
Alcohol and nicotine
- no smoking
- alcohol only in small amounts
- no one-sided diet or fasting
- only healthy food rich in vitamins; generally, you can eat what you like
- drink 2 liters (0.53 gal.) every day
- sports activities can improve the course of the disease, quality of live and the immune system
- adequate sports activities are walking, hiking, swimming or jogging slowly
Body and mind
Please listen to your body and decide what is good and important to you. To cure you of cancer requires time to heal, physically and psychologically. In case you cannot deal with the stress on your own, an experienced psycho-oncologist may be able to help you cope with your new situation and develop strategies to reduce social and psychological stress.