Sunday, November 22, 2009


When you have cancer, you learn a whole new language – one that includes both the generic and brand names of treatment drugs. Since my diagnosis in 1998, I have received the following:

Adriamycin (Doxorubicin)
Cyclophosphomide (Cytoxan)
Taxotere (Docetaxel) - twice
Tamoxifen (Valodex)
Femara (Letrozole)
Arimidex (Anastrozole)
Fulvestrant (Falodex)

That does not include Neupogene (a white blood cell booster), steroids, anti-nausea pills, antibiotics, anti-depressants and complimentary naturopathic remedies meant to reduce the side effects of the cancer drugs.

It looks like I’ll be starting a new drug in a few months, once they have another look at my lungs. Some of the possibilities include Xeloda, Naveline, Abraxane, Ixempra, Gemzar and Fareston.

This weird cancer language also includes terms like: tumor marker, cancer stage, aromatase inhibitor, extrogen receptor, metastases, port-a-cath, and ablative therapy. What sounds like Klingon to most people becomes common place for those of us who are riding the cancer roller coaster.

Common breast cancer terms and definitions

No comments: