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Breast Cancer in HIV positive woman
Jun 9, 2003

I am a public health nurse contacting you on behalf of a female client. She has HIV, Hep C and was diagnosed with breast CA. She wants to know if her HARRT meds and chemo can be compatible? What side effects might she experience? What literature/resources are available for her to read? Your help would be grately appreciate. Thank YOU!

Response from Dr. Dezube

You don't state what your client's CD4 count is. Unless her CD4 count is low (e.g. less than 100), I treat my HIV positive breast cancer patients exactly like my HIV negative breast cancer patients. The only HIV medication, which is not compatible with chemotherapy, is zidovudine (AZT). This is because both the AZT and the chemotherapy can suppress bone marrow function. There is little published about breast cancer in HIV positive persons. Some, including myself, feel that the incidence of breast cancer in HIV positive patients is actually lower than in HIV negative patients. I have a little publication on this subject in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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