Skip to content

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

New Approaches to Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

From tweaking the size and timing of chemotherapy, to adjusting how it's administered, small improvements are making a big difference in women's lives.

Separating Hype from Hope

While some of these new approaches are cause for hope, it's important to keep them in perspective.

"I think that we as oncologists, investigators, and journalists have to be very careful about separating hope from hype," says Seidman. "A lot of possibly exciting treatments are still years away from being used." Seidman cites as an example the great media excitement about anti-angiogenesis medications that was followed by disappointing results that dashed the hopes of patients.

Seidman stresses that while you should talk to your doctor about any new treatments you've heard of, you should also be aware that they may not be available to you. In some cases, you may be able to enroll in clinical trials of new types of chemotherapy.

But while a drug that can cure or prevent cancer may be far off, some approaches to chemotherapy, such as dose density, may be on the verge of becoming standard practice, says Seidman. While they may not provoke the excitement of a miracle drug, for now, these new ways of using old medications may offer the most hope.

1|2|3|4
Reviewed on October 03, 2003

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW