Metastatic or recurrent breast cancer is treated with a variety of medicines,
including chemotherapy and hormone therapy.
Chemotherapy. Medicines may be given by themselves, or in some cases, in a combination. Medicines may also be combined with trastuzumab or lapatinib for HER2-positive cancer. Commonly used medicines include:
Hormone therapy. Medicines for hormone therapy include aromatase inhibitors, tamoxifen, antiestrogens (such as fulvestrant), or megestrol.
Other medicines may be used. For example, tyrosine kinase inhibitors may be given with lapatinib and capecitabine. And corticosteroids or bisphosphonates may be used if cancer has spread to the brain or spinal cord.
Opiate pain relievers are the most common medicines used to treat cancer pain. If your doctor isn't able to help you get relief from your pain, ask to see a pain specialist. Cancer pain can be complicated and may require a doctor who has had specialized training.
Dealing with side effects of medicines
Chemotherapy can often cause nausea and vomiting. To help relieve any nausea that you may have, your
doctor will prescribe medicines to control and prevent nausea and vomiting that you can take along with your treatments.
- Cancer: Controlling Nausea and Vomiting From Chemotherapy