Cancer is a condition in which body continuously divide or forms large number of cells for no use. This is unstoppable process but it can be controlled with chemotherapy. Chemoor CTX or CTx usechemotherapeutic agents, chemical substances and anti-cancer medications to kill or shrink cancer cells. It is given along with hormonal & targeted therapyto reduce symptoms.
Other conditions treated with chemo are:
- AL amyloidosis
- Crohn's diseases
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Chemotherapy slows down the cancer growth and stops them from dividing quickly. This therapy kills cancer cells as well as healthy cells which may cause side effects. But side effects become negligible once chemo is over.
What Does Chemotherapy Do?
Chemotherapy is used to cure and control cancer. Once the cells are destroyed by chemotherapy then cancer cells will never grow back. It stops cancer cells from spreading and growing in other parts of your body. It also shrinks tumors which causes pain.
How is Chemotherapy Used?
Chemotherapy is used as a cancer treatment
but may be combined with surgery, radiation therapy,Oral chemo medications and biological therapy as per severity. In neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, large tumor is shrinked before surgery or radiation therapy. In adjuvant chemotherapy, cancer cells that may remain live after surgery or radiation therapy are destructed. Radiation therapy and biological therapy is the best combination to make it work better. Recurrent cancer or cancer cells (metastatic) which appear again or may spread in the body are destructed with chemotherapy. Induction chemotherapy is used for curative intent.Consolidation chemotherapy
is for improving overall survival and to make body cancer free. If detected with side effects, your doctor or nurse will immediately make changes in medications.
How Does My Doctor Decide Which Chemotherapy Drugs to Use?
Doctor decides and prescribeschemotherapy drugs according to the type of cancer. Few drugs are meant for different types of cancer and some only for just one or two types of cancer. Whether you have undergone chemotherapy before, what is the response rate, or investigate on prior medical conditions of heart and diabetes
because chemo has toxicities.
Where do I go for Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is given in hospital, home or in doctor’s clinic. It is an outpatient procedure where you do not have to stay overnight. Some hospitals may have private treatment rooms or different settings or one large room to treat many patients together.Doctors and nurses will watch for any side effects during the treatment.
How Often will I Receive Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy has a cycle followed by rest period because the doses are too high. For e.g.: you may receive 1st
chemo and then doctor asks you to take rest for 3 weeks. These 4 weeks make up one cycle of therapy in which body builds up healthy and new cells.
Chemotherapy totally depends upon:
- Type of cancer
- Its advancement
- Goal to cure, control or ease symptoms
- Chemotherapy type
- Body’s reaction
Can I miss a Dose of Chemotherapy?
It is recommended never or not to miss any dose
because cancer cells may increase rapidly or you may get any other side effect. Doctor will decide any changes in chemotherapy schedule.
How is Chemotherapy Given?
There are various ways to give chemotherapy. They are:
- Injection: A shot is given in a muscle in your arm, thigh, or hip or right under the skin in the fatty part of your arm, leg, or belly.
- Intra-arterial (IA): the medicine directly goes into the artery which is linked with the cancer.
- Intraperitoneal (IP):Chemo directly goes to the affect area that contains organs such as your intestines, stomach, liver, and ovaries.
- Intravenous (IV): The chemotherapy is administered directly into the vein.
- Topically: The chemotherapy medicine which comes in cream can be applied onto your skin.
- Orally:through pills, capsules, or liquids that you swallow.
Things to know About Getting Chemotherapy Through an IV
In Intravenous dosage nurse will directly give chemotherapy through a thin needle which is placed inside the vein and remove it once treatment is over. If you feel any pain or irritation or burning sensation, then immediately convey it to the doctor.
How will I Feel During Chemotherapy?
Different patient show different effects during chemotherapy. It entirely depends on your health, cancer type and its stage, chemotherapy type being taken and the amount of dose. Some feel exhausted, tired, and numb. Whenever you undergo chemotherapy make sure somebody or relative is with you for:
- Take you for chemo and drive back
- For taking care of your meals and children (if you have)
- For medical aid for any side effects
Can I Work During Chemotherapy?
If you feel alright after a day or 2 after chemotherapy then definitely you can.And if your job allows then work from home is the better option for few days. Full-time employees should talk to their employers about the schedule and treatment to adjust work timings.Many continue their daily activities to keep themselves occupied.
Can I take Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs While I Get Chemotherapy?
It is always advisable to consult your doctor first before taking any medicine. Now medications to entirely depend on cancer & chemotype combined with medicines you take.Keep them informed about the medicines list you take like laxatives, allergy medicines, cold medicines, pain relievers, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Properly arrange the drugs as per the dosage and reason.
Can I take Vitamins, Minerals, Dietary Supplements, or Herbs While I Get Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy has many side effects; you may feel low or exhausted. Let your doctor know so that he will prescribe suitable vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements
, or herbs to make you feel better.
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