AC Chemotherapy

AC chemotherapy treatment involves a combination of chemotherapy drugs which are used for treating breast cancer in women. It is generally prescribed for the type of breast cancer which has not affected the lymph nodes which is known as negative cancer. This type of chemotherapy is administered as per the schedule decided by the doctor. The name of this treatment is derived from the initials of the drugs used for treating cancer i.e. doxorubicin which is also known as Adriamycin and cyclophosphamide. These medicines are given in the form of injection using a drip.Drugs used for AC chemotherapy

The drugs that are used in AC chemotherapy treatment include Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide). The adriamycin drug is an injection and is usually given to the patient through the drip. You can read more about cancer treatment using adriamycin / doxorubicin chemotherapy. The second drug used is cyclophosphamide and is also given in the form of injection through a drip.

How is AC Chemotherapy Treatment administered?

Breast cancer chemotherapy treatment is something women are scared of; many a times because of the misconceptions. AC Chemotherapy TreatmentAC chemotherapy has emerged as a boon for those suffering from breast cancer. The patient undergoing the AC chemotherapy treatment can be treated as a day patient. However, before starting with the treatment, the patient has to undergo certain blood tests. The blood tests are either   done on the same day of the treatment or a few days prior to the treatment. If the results of the blood tests turn out to be normal, then the doctors  proceed with the AC chemotherapy treatment. In order to start the treatment, the nurse inserts  a cannula, a flexible and thin tube into the vein in the arm or hand of the patient. Some patients even take their chemotherapy treatment through a thin tube made of plastic, which is inserted either into the vein around the collarbone or below the skin.

The AC chemotherapy drugs are given to the patient as an injection through a salt water drip into the cannula. Both doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide drugs are given in the same way. The entire process generally takes about an hour’s time. The doctors often provide the breast cancer patient with anti-sickness drugs. These drugs help in preventing the side effects that may occur because of the treatment. The patient should consume these anti-sickness drugs as directed by the doctor, even if the side effects do not occur.

How frequently is the AC Chemotherapy Treatment given to a patient?

The doctor fixes a proper regime for the AC chemotherapy treatment for his patient. The doctor, may on the first day of chemotherapy, give the  patient doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. This is followed by a rest period in which the breast cancer patient is  not  given any treatment for the next 3 weeks. This whole process consisting of the treatment duration and the rest period is considered to be a cycle of the treatment. After the rest period is over, the same breast cancer chemotherapy drugs are  given to the patient, and is s again followed by  a rest period. This is the second cycle of the treatment. A patient is usually given 4-6 cycles of chemotherapy treatment. The entire course of the treatment may go on for 3-4 months.

What are the possible Side Effects of AC Chemotherapy Treatment?

A breast cancer patient undergoing AC chemotherapy treatment can face problems like high temperature. Another side effect of this treatment is unexplained bruising or bleeding. Anemia can be yet another reaction from the body. This treatment also causes vomiting and nausea in many people. Some of the other side effects include fatigue, hair loss, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, changes in nails and skin, etc. Some of these side effects may also be evident after the completion of the treatment and therefore it is important for the patients to also discuss about the post chemotherapy side effects with their doctor.
AC chemotherapy is one of the many chemotherapy regimens used in breast cancer treatment. Some of the other regimens include CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, 5-FU), FAC (5-FU, doxorubicin/adriamycin, cyclophosphamide) etc.