Giving hope to those affected
by secondary breast cancer

Research. Support. Education.

Types of Chemotherapy for Secondary Breast Cancer: Docetaxel

29th August 2021 by Jack Allan Education

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We are taking a look at the different types of chemotherapy drugs used to treat secondary breast cancer.  This week it’s Docetaxel.


What is Docetaxel?


Docetaxel, also known as Taxotere, among other brand names, is a chemotherapy drug used to treat a number of different types of cancer. This includes breast cancer, head and neck cancer, stomach, prostate and non-small-cell lung cancer.


How do you take it?


Docetaxel is given intravenously into the vein in hospital, normally as a drip into the hand or arm, but other methods can be used. 


The treatment usually takes about an hour and is given every 3 weeks as a cycle. It can be given alone or in combination with other cancer drugs.


Patients are given steroids to reduce allergic reactions and certain side effects.  


What are the side effects?


Common side effects can be infection, fluid retention, numbness in your fingers and toes, nausea and diarrhea, mouth sores, fatigue and weakness, hair loss and nail changes. Fingernails or toenails may change colour while taking docetaxel.


If  your side effects are severe or getting worse you should always speak to your medical team.


Next week we’ll be speaking to a patient about her experience of taking Docetaxel.