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Comprehending Chemotherapy

They say: ‘The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge you encounter, there is an opportunity for growth.’ I’m sure many of you have heard about the treatment term ‘chemotherapy’ but probably don’t know how it really works. So this blog post is all about comprehending chemotherapy.

It is the use of chemical medication to destroy and kill cancer cells by preventing them from growing, dividing, and proliferating. Chemotherapy has a greater effect on cancer cells because they grow and divide at a quicker rate than normal cells. Chemotherapy medications, on the other hand, are potent, and they can still cause harm to healthy cells. Chemotherapy side effects are caused by this damage.


Chemotherapy is used by doctors in the following ways:

  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is done prior to surgery or radiation treatment to reduce tumour size.

  • Adjuvant chemotherapy is done after surgery or radiation therapy to eliminate any leftover cancer cells.

  • It can be used as the sole method of therapy. For example, to treat leukaemia and lymphoma.

  • It can be used as a treatment for recurrent and metastatic or spreading cancer.

Chemotherapy aims to achieve different things depending on the extent and stage of cancer. Sometimes the treatment could eradicate all cancer and prevent it from returning. If not, it can halt or reduce the progression of cancer.


Palliative chemotherapy is used to slow the progression of cancer.


The treatment depends on a few factors such as cancer type, tumour size, location, the extent of spreading, age, health, weight etc… The duration of chemotherapy is always specified by the clinician.


There are various ways of providing chemotherapy. Intravenous or IV chemotherapy requires injection directly into a vein. Oral chemotherapy is by taking specified medication through the mouth in the form of capsules. Injected chemotherapy is injected into the muscles. Topical chemotherapy can be done by putting a certain cream on the skin. Many patients today use chemotherapy as an important treatment for their illness and yet scientists are finding alternatives as the drugs can affect healthy cells too. I hope you found this article informative. Thank you.

 

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