Chemotherapy is a popular cancer treatment that uses medications to either kill or stop the growth of cancer cells. Depending on the situation, it may be combined with surgery, radiation therapy, or other treatments as one of the main alternatives for treating many types of cancer.
Cancer cells are among the fast dividing cells that chemotherapy treatments target. However, they can also impact the body’s regular, healthy cells that divide quickly, including those in the gastrointestinal system, bone marrow, and hair follicles. This explains why chemotherapy frequently causes side effects such hair loss, nausea, exhaustion, and an elevated risk of infections.
Chemotherapy medications can be given orally (as pills), intravenously (straight into a vein), intramuscularly (injection into a muscle), or topically (application to the skin). The type and stage of the cancer, as well as individual considerations like general health and drug tolerance, determine the precise drugs used and the treatment programme.
Chemotherapy can be administered in a variety of cycles, each of which consists of a treatment phase and a recovery phase. Depending on the type of cancer and the treatment objectives, chemotherapy treatments might last anywhere from one to several months. From a few weeks to several months is possible.
Chemotherapy can have some restrictions even though it is successful at destroying cancer cells. Because not all cancer cells may be destroyed by chemotherapy, there is a risk of recurrence if some cancer cells become resistant to some of the medications. Targeted treatments and immunotherapies have advanced recently, providing an alternative to or a supplement to chemotherapy by directly targeting cancer cells while minimising harm to healthy cells.
Understanding the specifics of chemotherapy treatment, including its potential advantages, dangers, and side effects as well as potential alternative treatment alternatives, requires speaking with a healthcare practitioner.