CMF Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
CMF is an acronym of a chemotherapy treatment, which is named after the initials of the drugs used in the treatment. Cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (also known as 5FU), are used for this kind of chemotherapy. CMF chemotherapy for breast cancer is usually taken as a day patient. Before the treatment, a blood test of the patient is required.
CMF chemotherapy medications are directly inserted in the vein of the patients’ hand or arm. This might be a little painful but it does not take a lot of time. Some people are also given the treatment through a plastic tube that is inserted under the skin into a vein in their arm crook or near their collarbone.
Patients might also be given some anti sickness drugs. They are usually injected through the cannula or PICC line or central line. Some anti-sickness medicines are prescribed as tablets. The CNF drugs in this case are given separately.
- Cyclophosphamide is given to the patients as an infusion. It can also be given as a course of pink or white tablets, which is usually taken over two weeks. Cyclophosphamide is a colorless fluid.
- Methotrexate is injected along with salt water into the cannula. This is a yellow fluid.
- 5FU is also a colorless fluid and is injected in the same way as methotrexate.
Cyclophosphamide is often given first but the order in which the drugs are given does not change the drug’s effectiveness. As a day care patient, you might go home once the dosage is given.
How is CMF Chemotherapy given:
CMF chemotherapy is given in different ways. Doctors ask patients to follow a particular regiment for the therapy. There are four different schedules that are followed while giving CMF. Here’s the list of the schedule:
- Schedule A: Once the patient begins with the treatment, on the very first day, he/she will be injected with methotrexate and 5FU. Cyclophosphamide tablets also need to be taken for two weeks. After completion of one week methotrexate and 5FU, will again be infused. This is followed by rest period for two weeks with no chemotherapy. This completes one cycle of the treatment. After the rest period, the new cycle begins with the same schedule.
- Schedule B: In this schedule, on day one all the three drugs are infused into the patient. After one week, methotrexate and 5FU are given again. This is followed by rest period for two weeks to complete one cycle.
- Schedule C: On day one of the treatment, all the three drugs (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5FU) are given to the patient by infusion and injection. This is followed by a rest period with no chemotherapy for three weeks. This also completes a cycle and after the rest period, the next cycle begins with the same treatment.
- Schedule D: On the first day of the treatment, you will be given all the three drugs. One week later, the same will be repeated. After this, a rest period of two weeks is given to the patients and the next cycle begins.
The schedules for CMF Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer, depends upon the severity of the disease and also the stage of cancer. It is also very important that patients keep the doctors informed about the side effects and other minor health issues they are facing during the entire course of the treatment.