A Look At The Biggest Myths Associated With Chemotherapy Treatment For Breast Cancer

A breast cancer diagnosis is a scary thing to face, especially if you have misconceptions about the treatments that may be used to help you. No other treatment is associated with ongoing myths more than chemotherapy for breast cancer. Here is a look at some of the most common myths and the true facts you should know.

Myth: Most women who have breast cancer will need chemotherapy. 

About 70 percent of people diagnosed with breast cancer do not have to undergo chemotherapy treatment. One of the first things patients often ask after a diagnosis is when they will have to go through chemo because they automatically assume that this form of treatment will be required. With the most typical forms of breast cancer, however, treatment can be successful even without chemotherapy. 

Myth: Chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer is always an intravenous treatment. 

It is a common misconception that all chemotherapy drugs used in breast cancer treatment will have to be given through an IV. However, many chemotherapy medications are just as effective when they are taken orally, which means you may not have to go to the hospital for treatment sessions at all if you do have to undergo chemo. Furthermore, chemotherapy given through an IV does not always involve a long session at the hospital; you may also be given a dose of the medication and sent home right away.

Myth: If you undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer, it is going to make you severely sick. 

Years ago, any chemotherapy drugs did make patients extremely ill, and there are certain drugs that still can. However, most modern-day chemo drugs have been formulated and studied enough to thwart issues with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If the medications you are taking are making you really sick during or after treatment, make sure you talk to your doctor. There may be adjustments that can be made to your dosage that can help. 

Myth: All people diagnosed with breast cancer that undergo chemotherapy will lose their hair. 

Hair loss with chemotherapy for breast cancer is common, but it is not a guaranteed experience for every patient. In fact, some types of chemotherapy drugs are far less likely to cause issues with hair loss, and some patients are good candidates for cold caps which can help prevent problems with hair loss. Another similar myth is you will only lose your hair if the chemotherapy is killing cancer, and the two things are not at all related.

To learn more about the available breast cancer treatments, contact your doctor.