How effective is chemotherapy?
Depending on the disease or its stage, chemotherapy may be curative solution, healing a sick organ , or a complementary therapy to a surgical intervention or radiotherapy. The principle of chemotherapy is to destroy cells, which, within the tumor, are able to reproduce themselves indefinitely. All anticancer drugs participating in this destruction have a more or less toxicity formula and this can affect the blood, the skin, the hair or other organs. The more powerful the dose, the greater the chances of destroying a greater number of cancer cells, but also the risk of destroying healthy cells. Such treatment is performed by alternating the therapy with periods of rest. The pace of recovery time depends on the cures – usually longer in the elderly – and / or tumor with complicate evolution.
Chemotherapy and you:
Chemotherapy may be practiced in specializations hospital outpatient or home.
Classic hospitalization: the first sessions may be necessary to monitor the reactions of the patient and adjust the treatment or it is applied when it is an intensive chemotherapy.
Outpatient treatment is necessary in case of outpatient hospitalization, giving the patient the opportunity to return home to family.
At home: hospitalization at home involves visiting a specialist nurse, a physiotherapist or a dietitian.
The duration of each infusion can vary from several minutes to several hours or several days, depending on the type of cancer, the drugs used and how the body responds to the treatment.
Chemotherapy- side effects:
The most common side effects of chemotherapy are : changes into the formula of the blood – the bone marrow produces blood cells that are released into the blood; given that they multiply rapidly, they are very sensitive to chemotherapy. All anti-tumor molecules can work, so a transitory decrease in blood cell will appear.
- Nausea and vomitism- Are common to most chemotherapy drugs and may occur even when the infusion is done, and in the coming day. There are today many treatments to alleviate nausea and annihilate the vomitism. It is important to adhere especially for antiemetic drugs, to be taken before chemotherapy.
- Diarrhea, constipation – there are many drugs that induce transit disorders that can cause strong diarrhea and constipation; in this case, do not avoid treating these symptoms.
- Hair Loss -this is only a temporary and a minor side effect, because hair grows back normally after completion of treatment.
The only cure for hair loss is the chilled helmet, which diminishes the amount of drugs that come into contact with the hair.
- Fatigue -it is virtually constant throughout the disease, especially during chemotherapy and the following days , and is due to the disease itself.
The effects are due to certain medications and treatments and fade gradually after the end of the cures.
This blog post is an educational resource only and does not replace a medical consultation with a doctor .
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments. Comments or questions are welcome!
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments. Your feedback welcome!