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This Is Why Chemotherapy Is Used In Cancer Treatment

This Is Why Chemotherapy Is Used In Cancer Treatment

Chemotherapy can also lead to a wide range of side-effects. read on to know everything about this cancer treatment.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : March 4, 2022 11:15 AM IST

A large number of people are being advised to take chemotherapy to deal with cancer. But do you know what chemotherapy is, how it works, how it's given, and what are the possible side effects. In conversation with TheHealthSite, Dr Suhas Aagre, Oncologist and Hemato-Oncologist at Asian Cancer Institute, explains all you need to know about chemotherapy.

Know what Chemotherapy is

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that is used to kill the cancerous cells in the body. It is widely used to treat cancer as the cancer cells multiply, divide and grow rapidly. Different types of drugs can be used in combination to treat various types of cancers. The goals of chemotherapy are based on the type of cancer and how far it has spread.

Chemotherapy will be given into a vein (intravenous chemotherapy) and medicine being given via a tube in a vein in the hand, arm, or chest. Another is chemotherapy tablets (oral chemotherapy). The medicine is taken at home, with regular check-ups with the doctor. One will be managed with chemotherapy medicine or a combination of different types.

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How chemotherapy helps in cancer treatment

Chemotherapy can be used after other treatments, such as surgery, to eliminate any cancer cells that might remain in the body. It can also be called adjuvant therapy. Moreover, chemotherapy is used to shrink a tumor so that other treatments, such as radiation and surgery, are possible. It is known as neoadjuvant therapy.

Chemotherapy is used to help one get rid of signs and symptoms. One will be able to manage the signs and symptoms of cancer by killing some of the cancer cells. It is known as palliative chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy leads to a wide range of side-effects

Along with killing fast-growing cancer cells, chemotherapy will also lead to the slow growth of healthy cells that grow and divide quickly. Damage to healthy cells tends to invite side effects like mouth sores, nausea, and hair loss. Side effects vanish when one finishes chemotherapy. Many people have adverse effects such as vomit, and have nausea, diarrhoea, hair loss, Alocepia, infections, poor appetite, fatigue, fever, mouth sores, pain, constipation, and bleeding.

Take-home message

The treating doctor will recommend chemotherapy drugs based on factors like the type and stage of cancer, one's overall well-being, the goal of treatment, and if one has taken any previous cancer treatments. Your doctor will decide what works the best for you. Several cycles are there in chemotherapy. A course usually lasts 3 months or more for one to feel better.