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Types of Chemotherapy for Secondary Breast Cancer: Cyclophosphamide

8th January 2022 by Jack Allan

Types of Chemotherapy for Secondary Breast Cancer Cyclophosphamide

Next in our series covering different types of chemotherapy is Cyclophosphamide 


What is Cyclophosphamide?


Cyclophosphamide is a type of chemotherapy drug used to treat a number of different types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer and leukaemia.


Cyclophosphamide can be taken on its own, or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs.  It works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells. 


How do you take it? 


Cyclophosphamide is given usually through a vein by injection or infusion (intravenous, IV) or by tablet form swallowed whole with plenty of water, depending upon diagnosis. 


What are the possible side effects?


Common side effects can include:


  • Increased risk of getting an infection due to a drop in white blood cells. If you think you have an infection you should contact your advice line urgently as they can be life threatening.
  • Breathlessness and looking pale
  • Anaemia - low number of red blood cells
  • Bruising, bleeding gums or nose bleeds
  • Bladder irritation
  • Hair loss - this is almost always temporary
  • Inflammation of the bladder
  • Feeling sick
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of appetite 


Occasional side effects


  • Liver changes that are usually mild – you have regular blood tests to check this
  • A sore mouth
  • Low sperm count in men
  • Chills
  • lack of energy and strength

Please always speak to your medical team if you experience any of these side effects.