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Heart Problems and Chemo
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Heart Problems and Chemo

I had a mammogram last month. They found 2 clusters of microcalcifications. They wanted a magnified view and went for that. Now I have to have a biopsy on 9-18-08 to see if I have cancer or not. My question is this, I have had 2 heart attacks since April this year and I have coronary artery disease. If by some chance I do have cancer will I be able to do chemo? If not what will they have me do?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi.  If you do have cancer, there are still a lot of chemotherapy options for you even if you have heart disease.  One of the drugs frequently used for breast cancer - Doxorubicin - can aggravate an existing heart problem, but this drug can be replaced by similar drugs (e.g. Epirubicin) with less adverse effects on the heart.  Another option would be to use classes of drugs which are entirely different from Doxorubicin and which are relatively safe for the heart.  This includes the drugs vinorelbine, capecitabine, gemcitabine and the taxanes.  Still another option, particularly if the cancer is at an early stage, would be to use hormonal treatment alone instead of chemotherapy.
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Avatar_f_tn
Many times these come back no cancer too.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks I am hoping that it is not cancer. But I have to be realistic also. My mother had non hodgkins lymphoma and died, my sister just older than me had breast cancer and it spread to brain, bone, liver, stomach, and my oldest sister just had breast cancer and just finished her chemo a few months ago.
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Avatar_f_tn
Then its really good that they found these microcrocalifications real early. Good luck.
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