What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill rapidly growing cells in the body. It is often used to treat cancer because cancer cells grow and multiply much faster than most cells in the body. There are many types of chemotherapy drugs available. Chemotherapy drugs can be used to treat a variety of cancers alone or in combination.
Although it is an effective way to treat many types of cancer, it also carries the risk of side effects. Some side effects are mild and treatable, while others can cause serious problems. It is an aggressive form of chemotherapy that seeks to destroy rapidly growing cells in the body. It is commonly used to treat cancer because cancer cells grow and divide faster than other cells. They will work with you to create your treatment plan.
The stage and type of cancer you have.
- Your overall health
- Previous cancer treatments
- Cancer cell location
- Your personal treatment preferences
Although it has been shown to effectively attack cancer cells, it can cause serious side effects that can seriously affect your quality of life. You must weigh these side effects against the risk of not being able to receive treatment when deciding whether the procedure is right for you.
Why it’s done
Chemotherapy can be used to kill cancer cells in people with cancer. Several treatments can be used for chemotherapy in people with cancer:
- Cure cancer without other treatments: It can be used as the primary or treatment for cancer.
- After other treatments, to kill hidden cancer cells: The procedure can be used after other treatments, such as surgery, to kill cancer cells that are left in the body. Doctors call this adjuvant therapy.
- Prepare for other treatments: Other treatments such as radiation and surgery with chemotherapy may be used to shrink the tumor as much as possible. Doctors call it neoadjuvant therapy.
- To reduce signs and symptoms: It helps eliminate the signs and symptoms of cancer by killing some cancer cells. Doctors call this palliative chemotherapy.
What does chemotherapy do?
It depends on the type of cancer you have and how far you are from it.
- Prevention: In some cases, this treatment kills cancer cells in your body until your doctor can detect it. After that, the best result is that they don’t grow back, but it never happens.
- Control: In some cases, it can prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of your body or slow the growth of cancerous tumors.
- Simplify symptoms: In some cases, the procedure does not cure or control the spread of cancer and is used to treat painful or stressful tumors. These tumors often continue to grow.
Procedure of chemotherapy
Chemotherapy drugs can be given in several ways, including:
- Chemotherapy decoction: The procedure is most often given intravenously (through a vein) as an infusion. Medications can be given by inserting a needle tube into a vein in the hand or into a venous device in the chest.
- Chemotherapy pills: Some drugs can be taken in the form of pills or capsules.
- Chemotherapy injections: These drugs can be injected with the needle in the same way that you would receive an injection.
- Chemotherapy creams: Creams or gels containing these drugs may be applied to the skin to treat certain types of skin cancer.
- These drugs are used to treat an area of the body: These are often given to one area of the body. the chest cavity or the central nervous system. The procedure can also be done through the bladder into the bladder.
- It is given directly to cancer: It is often given on to cancer or after surgery, where cancer once was. For example, thin, disc-shaped membranes containing these drugs may be placed near the tumor during surgery. Chemotherapy reducing drugs, membranes break down over time. Chemotherapy drugs can feed the tumor directly into a vein or artery.
Each drug has different side effects and not all drugs cause all side effects. Ask your doctor about the side effects of the specific medications you receive.
Side effects that can occur during the treatment.
Common side effects of chemotherapy drugs:
- Hair loss
- Lack of appetite
- Mouth ulcers
- Easily injured
Most side effects decrease after treatment is finished.
Chronic and late-developing side effects
Chemotherapy drugs can also cause side effects that are not apparent for months or years after treatment. Delayed side effects vary depending on the chemotherapy drug:
- Damage to lung tissue
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
- Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
- The second risk of cancer
Ask your doctor if you have any delayed side effects. Ask what signs and symptoms you need to know.
You should see your oncologist regularly during this treatment. Ask your oncologist about any side effects you may be experiencing, as most are manageable.
Depending on your condition, you may also have scans and other tests to monitor your cancer during the treatment. These tests can give your doctor an idea of how your cancer will respond to treatment and adjust your treatment accordingly.