Chemotherapy treatment refers to using drugs that include potent chemicals to eradicate rapidly dividing cells in the body. Due to their rapid division and growth, cancer cells are typically treated with chemotherapy.
There is a wide variety of chemotherapies to choose from. Different types of cancer may be treated with different combinations of chemotherapy medicines. Chemotherapy is an efficient method of treating many forms of cancer, but it is also associated with several potential negative side effects. There are both moderate and severe adverse effects of chemotherapy.
Cancer chemotherapy is one example of a systemic drug. This implies that it is distributed throughout the body through the circulatory system.
One may choose from a wide variety of chemotherapies. Chemotherapy medications are potent chemicals that target cancer cells at precise times in the cell cycle. The cell cycle is the process by which all cells reproduce themselves. Chemotherapy is more effective against cancer cells because they undergo this cycle faster than regular cells.
Chemotherapy's systemic distribution might affect healthy cells as they normally replicate throughout the body. Because of this, chemotherapy might have negative consequences, such as hair loss and sickness.
One of the main benefits of chemotherapy is treating cancer, although the likelihood of doing so varies by kind of cancer.
However, chemotherapy alone is not enough to cure certain types of cancer. However, it may be beneficial when used in conjunction with other treatments. To reduce the likelihood of recurrence, chemotherapy is often administered to patients who have had curative surgery for cancers such as breast or bowel.
Chemotherapy may be used in cases when a cure for the disease is very improbable, but the following conditions are met:
Chemotherapy's intended outcomes are conditional on the patient's cancer subtype and the extent of the disease. Chemotherapy may be used alone or in conjunction with other methods of care. Some examples of chemo's many applications are:
Chemotherapy is sometimes used with the hope that it may completely eradicate cancer and prevent its return.
Chemotherapy may be administered to reduce the tumour size before surgery or radiation treatment. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a term for this kind of treatment.
After surgery or radiation treatment, chemotherapy may be used to kill any leftover cancer cells. The term for this kind of chemotherapy is "adjuvant.”
Chemotherapy may reduce the size of tumours and stop them from growing and spreading for a while, even if the disease cannot be cured. Chemotherapy has been shown to increase survival rates, alleviate cancer-related symptoms, and enhance the quality of life in such situations. Palliative chemotherapy is a term used to describe this kind of treatment.
Chemotherapy's negative effects may be partially explained by the medications targeting and destroying rapidly reproducing cells. Tissues where cells are continually dividing and multiplying, such as:
Chemotherapy is harmful to these areas because it contains actively dividing cells. The good cells that chemotherapy kills may be replaced or repaired by normal cells.
This means that healthy cells seldom suffer permanent harm. Once your therapy is over, most of the time, the negative effects will go away. Some negative effects, like feeling nauseous or having diarrhoea, could only occur while you're taking the medications.
What you need to do to be ready for chemotherapy varies on the medications and the method of administration. Preparing for chemotherapy treatments will include following the directions given to you by your doctor. You may want to:
Your doctor may advise using a catheter, port, or pump to administer intravenous chemotherapy. Your surgeon will insert the catheter or other device into a big vein, most often in your chest. The gadget may be used for the administration of chemotherapy medicines.
Whether or not your body is ready for chemotherapy depends on the results of many tests, including those that examine your blood for signs of kidney and liver damage and your heart for signs of health. In the event of complications, your doctor may postpone chemotherapy or switch to a more conservative regimen.
If your physician suspects an infection in your teeth, they may advise you to see a dentist. Because certain chemotherapy might weaken the immune system, treating pre-existing infections can help lower the risk of problems during treatment.
Please inquire about the possible chemotherapy side effects so that you may prepare for them. For instance, if you're concerned that chemotherapy may render you infertile, you may want to investigate your choices for freezing your sperm or eggs. Because chemotherapy might cause hair loss, you may want to purchase a hat or scarf in advance.
Since most chemotherapy is administered in an outpatient setting, patients may continue to live their daily lives as normal, including going to work. Chemotherapy may have a moderate to severe impact on your ability to carry out daily tasks, but how you will feel is difficult to anticipate.
Find out from your doctor whether you need to take time off from work or if you will need assistance around the house after undergoing treatment. Find out from your doctor when and how often you'll receive chemotherapy so you can plan accordingly for your job, family, and other obligations.
While receiving cancer chemotherapy you will have frequent appointments with your oncologist. Since many adverse effects are manageable, your oncologist will likely inquire about them.
During chemotherapy treatment, scans and other tests may be performed to check on the progress of the cancer. The results of these examinations might help your doctor gauge the effectiveness of your current course of therapy for cancer.