Taxotere chemotherapy or Docetaxel is a drug used in the treatment of advanced stomach cancer.
The regimen is also used in other tumors including breast, ovarian, lung and prostate cancer.
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This chemotherapy drug is part of a group of drugs known as taxanes, plant alkaloids derived from a rare Pacific Yew tree.
Taxotere comes as a white powder which is hydrated to form a yellow liquid which is infused through your venous line (usually a central or midline) over an hour.
Because the drug can induce an allergic reaction, steroids are normally given the day prior to your treatment.
Side effects are common to all drugs and I have listed some of the possible one’s for you below:
Infections from neutropenia (low white cell count)
Muscle and Joint Pains
Paraesthesia in a glove and stocking distribution (i.e numb hands and feet)
It is important to limit any exposure to possible infections when on Taxotere. Keep away from anyone known to have an infection and limit the number of visitors you have if possible.
Neutropenia or low white cell count normally occurs one week after the treatment and cell recovery won’t occur for a further two weeks after this time.
It is during this period that you should monitor for signs of infection, particularly fevers and chills.
Avoid pregnancy with contraceptives, whether a man or women as fetal abnormalities are likely with this drug.
If you develop any complications, particularly signs of infection, it is important to seek urgent medical advice.
This form of chemotherapy is usually reserved for people with advanced stomach cancer.
The treatment is normally offered in combination therapies to reduce rate of progression and improve symptoms.
Discussion with your oncologist about the latest trial data is important as well as understanding the benefits and risks of the treatment.
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