BEP Chemotherapy: Testicular Cancer Treatment
BEP chemotherapy consists of 3 different drugs:
- platinum (cisplatin)
Read on for more information about BEP, its administration, side effects, and more.
How is BEP chemotherapy administered?
BEP chemotherapy works by injecting one or more of the drugs into your bloodstream. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as:
- A peripheral IV line (PIV, or just “IV”) – a short catheter that’s typically placed in the forearm.
- A PICC line (“peripherally inserted central-line catheter”), which is generally placed in the upper arm. Its tip ends in the largest vein of the body, which is why it’s considered a central line.
- A CVC (“central venous catheter“) – a central line placed in the chest or neck.
- A port is a catheter that’s implanted surgically under the skin on the chest. It’s another type of central line.
Side effects of BEP chemotherapy
BEP chemotherapy can cause a number of side effects in patients receiving it. These can include, but aren’t limited to:
- Bruising or bleeding
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Coughing or difficulty breathing
- Skin irritation
- Abdominal pain
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Soreness in the mouth
- Changes in taste
- Changes in bowel movements (diarrhea / constipation)
So, during the first week and the first half of the second week, I was pretty down. The end of the second week and the whole third week of each cycle was pretty nice. I could sit on the couch and watch TV. During the third week, I would even get up and try to walk around. I wasn’t having any diarrhea, and I wasn’t throwing up. The headaches subsided a bit as well. The hearing and the breathing issues stayed – that’s a longer-term thing. The rest subsided during the third week.– Steve Lynch
Looking in the mirror, I was the typical chemo patient. I had the bald head, I was pale, fatigued, had dark circles under my eyes, and couldn’t hardly get out of bed. That was me, and that’s a lot of testicular cancer patients. However, if you’re going through a different cancer and different chemo, it might be different.– Hugo Toovey
How long does BEP treatment last?
BEP chemotherapy is typically administered in one or more 3-week (21 day) cycles, consisting of:
- 3 or 5 days of infusions of combinations of all three drugs
- a rest period of a few days (no infusions)
- a bleomycin infusion on day 8 or 9
- another rest period of a week
- another bleomycin infusion on day 15 or 16
- a final rest week