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Cyclophosphamide and Tamoxifen Your doctor has prescribed a course of chemotherapy which includes the drugs: Cyclophosphamide
These are well tried and effective drugs which are used together in the treatment of breast
cancer. The Cyclophosphamide is a drug primarily used to kill cancer cells and Tamoxifen is
frequently used in breast cancer patients to prevent recurrence of their tumour. However, both
of these drugs have a separate effect on substances which control the overall growth of cancer,
(growth factors) and the doctor has prescribed the drugs for this other effect and not for their
The effect that these drugs have on the ‘growth factors’ is initially very slow and we would not
expect to see much in the way of change in your cancer during the first three months of
treatment. Some information about the effects these drugs may have on your body is given
below. How are the drugs administered?
Both the Cyclophosphamide and the Tamoxifen are administered orally in tablet form. How often will I have the treatment?
The dose of Tamoxifen
will remain the same throughout the course of treatment.
The dose of Cyclophosphamide
will vary for each individual patient and will vary according to
your blood count.
The blood counts are closely monitored by means of regular blood tests and the doses of
Cyclophosphamide may change accordingly. For this reason you will be reviewed regularly in
the Combined Day Unit. What are the side-effects?
It is important to remember each person’s reaction to any drug is individual. Some people have
very few side-effects, while others experience more. Please report any effects you experience to
the doctor or nurse caring for you.
On the following page is a list of the common side-effects which are likely to occur whilst
undergoing such a course of chemotherapy. Most of these side-effects are discussed in more
detail in the Chemotherapy Booklet
, and appropriate advice is given about each. If there are any
side-effects not listed which you feel may be due to the chemotherapy please speak to one of
the chemotherapy team or your consultant.
• Reduced immunity - Treatment may lower your immunity and consequently make your
body more prone to infection. If you feel you have developed a temperature or have any signs of infection, or any bruising or unusual bleeding please use one of the contact numbers.
• Nausea and vomiting - This occurs in only 10% of patients and is usually confined to the
Combined Day Unit
Monday to Friday between 8.00am - 6.00pm
Telephone: 01332 786009
Outside these hours contact Ward 303
Telephone: 01332 787733 Further information can be obtained from:
Macmillan Information Centre
Cancer and Specialist Services
Level 1, Main Hospital
Royal Derby Hospital
Monday to Friday between 8.30am - 4.30pm
Telephone: 01332 786008 (24 hour answerphone)
The Information Centre offers information about cancer at all stages of the disease, the types of
treatments that may be offered and the services that are available locally. The centre
complements the information you will be given by the doctors, nurses or other healthcare
professionals and operates as part of the whole team.
NHS Direct is a 24 hour nurse led, confidential service providing
general health care advice and information.
Telephone 0845 4647 or visit the website at
Any external organisations and websites included here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Derby Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust, nor does their inclusion constitute a recommendation. Reference Code: P0611/0015/02.2010/VERSION2
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior
permission in writing from the Patient Information Service, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. (G1742/10.97/V1)
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