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What Is Adjuvant Chemotherapy?

By Edited Apr 27, 2015 0 1

The first thing that you should know about adjuvant chemotherapy is that it is done when there is no remaining cancer left behind after other therapies or surgeries have been performed. This type of therapy is done to reduce the risk of the cancer returning after it has been eliminated.

When doctors plan this type of therapy after a successful program of curing cancer through surgery or radiation and chemotherapy it is because they have analyzed the statistics and understand the risks of cancer returning to the patient again.

While you may be thinking that you are cured after a successful surgery or chemotherapy treatment, you should pay attention to these statistics and do everything in your power to prevent cancer from returning. You can be thankful that the first part of your treatment was a success and that your body is currently free of cancer, but the risk of cancer returning is always there and must be dealt with.

The doctor will determine how long you should receive your adjuvant chemotherapy and typically after positive exams have proven that the cancer has not returned the therapy will be stopped. It is very important that the doctor make the determination to stop the adjuvant chemotherapy and not the patient.

The theory behind adjuvant chemotherapy is that the drugs can be more effective when the main cancerous tumor has been removed. It is just as important that the patient take care of their health while they are dealing with this type of treatment. There will be the typical side effects that are common with chemotherapy drugs. Patients who are receiving adjuvant chemotherapy will face hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and all of the other side effects that come with chemotherapy drugs.

Chemotherapy is given to patients to destroy cancer cells in the body. The effect that these drugs can have on the body while the patient is receiving adjuvant chemotherapy can be very difficult to live with. The patient will need plenty of support while they are receiving this type of therapy.

The importance of this additional therapy cannot be underestimated. A doctor can never be sure that the surgery that they have performed on the patient has, in fact, removed all of the cancer in the body. There is always the possibility of additional cancer cells having spread away from the original site. That is why it is so important that the patient undergo a treatment to eliminate these cells before they spread even further.

Patients should learn all that they can about adjuvant chemotherapy so that they will fully understand its necessity. Once the patient is aware of the additional risk that they face they will be more willing to undergo this additional therapy in their fight against cancer.

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Comments

Apr 6, 2011 6:33pm
cabsolutions
Adjuvant chemo is not always advised. It does carry risks too. Sometimes it is better to just do surveillance.
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