A C Chemotherapy

Hi I have just had two crazy weeks, I have been dx with B C after being treated for a breast infection for six weeks by my G. P.!!
I was finally referred to a breast clinic and my feet have hardly touched the ground. I was dx with B.C. and my tumour is 4cm
I start chemo on April 1st. 4X A.C.followed by surgery and then more chemo or radiotherapy.
Is anyone else on A C?
I am trying so hard to be positive I am 61 years old and have spent what time I have had tearing around trying to sort everything out, as dont know what to expect next week. Managed to fit in a few rounds of golf as that maybe on hold for a while but hopefully not. I agree with so many other people out there you really dont know where you get the strength from I hope it stays with me for the next twelve months!!
Take care,

Dear Jan

Welcome to the forums, where I am sure that you will receive lots of support and information from your fellow forum members. I am posting to let you know that Breast Cancer Care have published a Resource Pack, it has been designed for anyone newly diagnosed with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and various treatments, it is available via the following link or by contacting the helpline:


You may find our helpline useful to call during this time, they can talk to you about our other support services and also offer support, information and a ‘listening ear’. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm, Saturday, 9am - 2pm. I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

Hi Jan

Sorry to hear your news. Alas can’t help with the AC chemo, I had 3 x FEC and 3 x Tax and finished in November and am now on herceptin.

Hopefully others on the same will respond to you, but just wanted to say you are not alone. You will have ups and downs and it is a rollercoaster of emotions that I can say. Glad you sound so upbeat, best way to be. You do find the strength from somewhere to carry on, but we have no choice.

Good luck with your chemo and if you need any support just shout.


Hi Jan

The reason you haven’t had many replies yet may be because AC chemotherapy is less common in the UK as a first line of treatment than it is in other countries such as the USA. In the UK it is commoner to hear of people having FEC or
E-CMF. AC works in a similar way to these.

AC is a combination of 2 drugs: adriamycin and cyclophosphamide. I had six cycles of AC before suregry in 2003/4. Side effects for all chemos differ from person to person. I lost my hair and was very tired for about 4-6 days each cycle. I was lucky never to be sick and only to get very mild nausea once or twice (there are very good anti sickness drugs).

Different oncologists have different views on which drugs to use…mine was influenced by practices in the US and I think that’s why I got AC. I also had another drug after surgery…taxotere. My cancer is the kind which is ‘triple negative’ (It doesn’t have hormone or her2 receptors) and some oncologists prefer to use AC for this kind of cancer. (Sorry if this sounds technical…do a search of the terms if you want to find out more)

Waiting for the first chemo is very hard…once you’ve had one cycle you know more what to expect.

Don’t feel you have to ‘be positive’ all the time…no one is…as Dawn says we all go through a rollercoaster of emotions and we all find our own ways of managing.

best wishes with your treatment.


Hello Jan

Sorry to hear your news - It is like a rollercoaster at first, and it is difficult not to be overwhelmed by others making so many decisions ‘for’ you. Next Monday I have my 4th (and last) AC. You will be given anti sickness drugs at the same time. For me, these worked really well, and I have not had nausea at all (I am 53). My steroids last for 3 days after each treatment, and my lowest day is when they end. There is a top tips thread which has some really good ideas to help cope. Are you on a 2 or 3 weekly cycle? I seem to be quite unusual to be on a 2 weekly one, although this last had to be delayed a week, as I was short of white blood cells - that too is not uncommon.

Jane has been very clear with the technical details, So I will just talk about my own experiences. I certainly found that the fist cycle was ok, and I was able to carry on working, albeit with reduced hours. I did not lose my hair until the second week of the second cycle. I had had it cut very short beforehand, but when it started coming out in clumps it was time to be shaved. it has pretty much all come out since. the hospital will advise regarding wigs. I chose only to use hats and scarves. there are a lot of companies out there that sell headcovers for hair loss, I like Suburban Turban particularly, and Bohemia fashions, but you will find plenty.

Do look at other threads on here, they are full of advice, and humour, and ways to cope with the really cr**py tme we are all going though. The ladies at the telephone help desk are simply wonderful, and have helped me through when feeling particularly low. They are also a source of undertsanding, as, although I am sure some things were explained ast the beginning of the process, I got to the stage that all the terms needed to be gone through again, and it was they that did that with great patience.

Do let us know how you get on on Tuesday - I hope it goes ok, and you are that much more prepared for the rest of the journey - somehow it seems easier when it is underway.

best wishes


Hi Jan

I have had 4xAC (UK) and would say that it is doable. I was very scared before my first, but actually had the chemo, after which we had to wait two hours to see the Onc. so me and OH went shopping. I really never believed that I would be up for a shopping spree straight after my first chemo (neither did my husband’s credit card!)

My advice is to follow your nurses instructions re. sickness meds, and any side effect that gives you grief don’t hesitate to give them a call so they can help you. As for the golf, on AC I felt grotty for the first week only. I would clear my diary for that week just in case, but carried on as normal week two and three. I was told by my Onc that I could probably save my hair whilst on AC if I used the cold cap, but I was going onto Taxotere afterwards when I would definitely lose it,so I never tried.

All the very best, just ask if you have any more questions.

Thank you so much everyone just great to hear other people are having A.C. and that its doable.Ann Im on a 3 weekly cycle, glad you managed to carry on working, that was very encouraging. Good luck with your last one on Monday
Jane, I remember the ONC.saying something about me being negative, this is all new and I seem to be learning more and more daily.
I am having a bone scan on Monday before my first chemo on Tues just want to get the first over with Im sure you know what I mean. Just had a golf lesson with a bunch of girls and we had a great laugh, just helps to focus on something else!! Anne Ill remember to take my husbands credit card there is a huge shopping outlet 10 mins away!!
Take care,
Many thanks