FAC: Fluorouracil, Adriamycin and Cytoxan

Updated 
August 31, 2015

FAC (Fluorouracilinfo-icon, Adriamycin and Cytoxaninfo-icon) is a chemotherapyinfo-icon regimeninfo-icon sometimes given for localizedinfo-icon breast cancers with a relatively high risk for recurrenceinfo-icon. It is a combination of three chemotherapy medicines:

FAC uses the same medicines as the combination CAF, but has different doses and schedules.

How FAC Works

Each medicineinfo-icon attacks the cancer cells in a different way:

  • Fluorouracilinfo-icon stops cells from making and fixing DNA. This causes the cells to die when they try to divide.
  • Doxorubicininfo-icon stops DNA production and interferes with the enzymes that repair DNA.
  • Cyclophosphamideinfo-icon stops cancer cells from reproducing.

Who Gets FAC

Past clinicalinfo-icon trials showed FAC to be effective for both node-negativeinfo-icon disease (which hasn’t traveled to lymphinfo-icon nodes) and node-positiveinfo-icon disease (which has traveled to lymph nodes). It was often used in the past as adjuvant therapyinfo-icon, after and in addition to surgeryinfo-icon, for people with locally advanced breast cancer. 

You and your doctor will discuss the best chemotherapyinfo-icon treatment for your situation.

How is FAC Given

  • FAC is usually given in six 3-week cycles.
  • All three medicines are given together, by veininfo-icon, on the first day of treatment
  • Fluorouracilinfo-icon is given by itself one week later, followed by a 2-week rest period off of all chemotherapyinfo-icon.
  • The entire course of treatment lasts about 18 weeks.

Side Effects and Things to Remember

Different medicines have different side effects. You may not have every side effectinfo-icon related to each medicineinfo-icon of the combination.  Side effects of FAC may include:

Rare side effects may include increased risk of leukemia, a blood cancer, and heart failure.

Before starting FAC, be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counterinfo-icon medicines, to make sure they won’t interfere with your chemotherapyinfo-icon treatment.

You should avoid becoming pregnant while you are receiving FAC. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while you are undergoing treatment.

Be sure to talk to your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon or nurseinfo-icon about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.

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