Skip to Content. Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here. Use the menu to see other pages. This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer.
The list includes generic and brand names. This page also lists common drug combinations used in breast cancer. The individual drugs in the combinations are FDA-approved. However, the drug combinations themselves usually are not approved, although they are widely used.
Chemotherapy chemo uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously injected into your vein or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Occasionally, chemo may be given directly into the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Not all women with breast cancer will need chemo, but there are several situations in which chemo may be recommended:. For certain types of breast cancer, if there are tumor cells still found at the time of surgery also called residual disease , you may be offered more chemotherapy after surgery to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back recurrence.
Back to Breast cancer in women. You may have one of these treatments, or a combination. The type or combination of treatments you have will depend on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it's at. Breast cancer diagnosed at routine screening may be at an early stage, but breast cancer diagnosed when you have symptoms may be at a later stage and require a different treatment.