Breast Cancer: Stage 3 & 4 Community
capecitabine 500mg
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capecitabine 500mg

I have been prescribed capecitabine 500mg  tablets by my oncologist as a last ditch treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Please can you tell me anything about this drug. All I know is the possible (bad) side effects. I don't know if it is effective, and if it is what percent ? Will it kill the cancer cells or just contain them?  Because I only have the one kidney which is damaged I have been prescribed 2X 500mg tablets TDS for 2 weeks and then 1 week rest. The doctor says he will increase the dose after 3 weeks. The cancer has returned after 7 years of being clear in the fat covering my intestines, the lymph nodes in my chest and 2 bones. I have fluid in my stomach but  not enough to drain, 1cm deep over entire area.
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Hi.
You are diagnosed with breast cancer stage 4 with metastases to the lymph nodes, bone, and omentum (I think you are referring to this when you said "fat covering my intestines").
What treatment was given to you previously.
Capecitabine (Xeloda) is an oral drug that is converted to 5FU after enzymatic conversion.  It is rapidly absorbed by the gut mucosa, and is excreted by the kidneys.  Dose reduction is done in patients with kidney disease.  This is active not only in metastatic breast cancer, but also in other solid tumors like colorectal cancer, pancreatic, gastroesophageal, and ovarian cancers.  The FDA approved this drug as a second-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer, with a response rate of about 20-30% based on a clinical trial.  Capecitabine can be given alone, or in combination with active chemotherapy drugs like docetaxel.
For stage 4 cancer, treatment goal is palliative.  This means that treatment is given to control the disease, relieve the symptoms, and improve the quality of life.
You may want to check http://www.xeloda.com for other important information.
Good luck.
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