Cancer Society of America | Chemotherapy | Cause, Symptoms & Risk Factors of Cancer | Cancer Diagnosis | Cancer | Cancer Prevention, Early Detection & Treatment

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Chemotherapy or chemo in short is a chemical methodology where
cytotoxics drugs, drugs that kills cells and tissues, are
administered to kill the tumor cells. Chemotherapy works on
the principle of blocking or slowing down the growth of cancer
cells, but unfortunately sometimes chemotherapy can harm even
your normal cells also. It is so important to be disciplined
in listening instructions and stick to the standard guidelines
given by the chemotherapist.

How chemotherapy is used?
Chemotherapy can be used alone or in combination with other therapies like radiation and surgery. Your oncologist makes sure that your
tumor gets smaller and smaller by radiation and surgery and finally chemotherapy is used to completely abolish the tumor cells. This is
called adjuvant chemotherapy because it kills the residual cells after surgery or radiotherapy.

Criteria for decision making in chemotherapy
  • It varies from patient to patient depending on the type of cancer, staging and grading,   
     number of organs affected
  • Whether it is localized or metastasized
  • Age and general health status, etc.

What are the routes of chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy may be given through injection into your muscles, Intra-arterial, where it is injected into your arteries, Intraperitoneal for
peritoneum of your stomach, Intravenous  in which veins are used and some cases. Topical application through cream is also a choice for
skin cancers.

Chemotherapy is a topic of concern because more than cancer pain, the chemotherapy disturbs your normal functioning.  Sometimes you might feel alright with the
treatment, but some might react so erroneously. Dehydration, fever, skin irritation and total sickness manifested with vomiting, uneasiness, mental agony could hinder

How much does chemotherapy cost?
It depends on:
1. The types and doses of chemotherapy used,
2. How long and how often chemotherapy is given,
3. Whether you get chemotherapy at home, in a clinic or office, or during a hospital stay.

Chemotherapy acts through 4 possible directions on us
  • Total remission is the utilization of monotherapy strategy, which means except chemotherapeutic agents, there  will be no requirement for other therapies like
    surgery and alternative medicine.
  • Combination therapy is essential in most of the cases as chemotherapy fails to fight many advanced, large  
    tumorsso the therapy needs to be chemo, radio and surgical as well.
  • Prevent recurrence is when you keep administering the chemos after 1 or 2 years of discharging the client. In
    general it is maintenance therapy.
  • Slow down cancer progression - used mainly when the cancer is in its advanced stages and a cure is unlikely.
    Chemotherapy can slow down the advancement of the cancer.

Another symptom is alopecia (loss of hair) which is a concern in 90% of patients who receive chemotherapy. You may lose your hair as long as the drug is in your
blood and serum, but it is reversible too. Meet your counselor for help in such case.




Chemotherapy for Traeting Cancer

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