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What Is Chemotherapy?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. There are other types of cancer treatments that are effective in the elimination of cancer cells in the body such as radiation and surgery. These two treatment options will remove the cancer cells or seek to destroy them when they are localized in a specific area of the body. Chemotherapy works on the whole body to treat cancer cells. This is necessary when the cancer has spread to parts of the body that are apart from the original source of the cancer.

There are over one hundred drugs that can be used in chemotherapy treatment. A doctor will usually prescribe more than one drug for treatment at a time. These drugs will work together to kill the cancer cells. The amount of drugs that will be used and for how long will be determined by the extent of the cancer.

Chemotherapy works by targeting fast dividing cancer cells and renders them unable to divide. Doctors are currently unable to target the specific cancer cells and can only generally target the fast dividing cells. Because other bodily functions are controlled by fast dividing cells these functions will be affected by the chemotherapy treatment.

The dosing of the medications can be difficult to control. Doses that are not strong enough to affect the cancer will be ineffectual. And doses that are too strong can cause the patient to suffer serious side effects. Even with the correct dose the patient will still suffer from some very uncomfortable side effects.

Chemotherapy is also very effective on younger tumors. That is why it is important to catch the cancer early on. The chances of survival increase dramatically with early detection. It is also necessary for patients who have undergone cancer treatment to continue to see the doctor to look for any reoccurrence of the cancer.

Treatment for cancer with chemotherapy is getting better with new and more effective drugs. Doctors are working to come up with drugs that offer the benefits of chemotherapy without the difficult side effects. There has been some improvement in this area. Nausea is one of the most difficult side effects of chemotherapy. There are currently drugs available that can help to control this difficult side effect of cancer treatment. It can be an ordeal to receive treatment with chemotherapy for your cancer, but there are times when it is the best option available. Medicine is quickly finding ways for the treatments to be more tolerable to patients.


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