Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Cancer Treatment

Shrinking Tumors with Chemotherapy.png

In a human body, normally, the cells grow in an orderly way; however, some cells keep on growing in an uncontrolled fashion. The unchecked growth may result in the development of lumps called a tumour. If the tumour is malignant, it is termed as cancer. Since the discovery of the actual cause behind cancer, many treatments and surgeries were used to cut the tumour tissues in different body parts; however, the success rate remained low.

Beginning of Chemotherapy

Until the 1940s, there was no instance of the existence of a systematic procedure for the treatment. The actual breakthrough was achieved when surgeons developed a new method of cancer treatment, after the discovery of X-ray and anaesthesia. It was only in the later years of the 20th century that the first successful documentation of chemotherapy took place. Nitrogen was used for treating the condition of lymphoma in a patient, which marked the beginning of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is considered as a breakthrough in cancer treatment. Over the years, new chemotherapy drugs were discovered which resulted in successful treatment of numerous kinds of cancer. It has now become one of the principal modes of treatment of cancer patients.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy, simply put, is the use of different drugs to kill cancerous cells. The procedure stops and slows down the growth of cancerous cells in the human body. Nowadays, chemotherapy has three prime applications:

  1. It is curative for a few malignancies like leukaemia and germ cell malignancies

  2. Plays a palliative role for metastatic epithelial malignancies

  3. Plays a crucial role in resected epithelial malignancies

Understanding chemotherapy may help individuals cope better with the situation and assist them in making a decision about the treatment.

How is it Administered?

Chemotherapy can be given in numerous ways

  1. By mouth

  2. By introducing the drug directly into the affected tissue

  3. With the help of a Catheter

  4. Through a Needle

What is the Duration of Chemotherapy?

The duration of chemotherapy varies according to the stage and type of cancer. It also depends on how an individual’s body responds to the drug. Therefore, it can be given for a few days, few weeks, or a long-term. Your doctor will tell you about the course of treatment after scrutinising your reports.

Is Chemotherapy Painful?

Chemotherapy does not cause any discomfort generally; however, some medications may cause mild burning sensations.

If a person experiences any pain, coolness, unusual burning sensation, s/he must immediately tell the doctor. Moreover, if there is any redness or tenderness over the injection site, the doctor must be contacted immediately.

What are the Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy may produce different side-effects in different patients but not all. The possible side effects are:

  1. Hair Loss

  2. Muscle Weakness

  3. Loss of Appetite

  4. Nausea and Vomiting

  5. Ulcers

  6. Dry and Tired Eyes

  7. Increased Risk of Bruising

  8. Diarrhoea or Constipation

Chemotherapy is widely used because it destroys cancer cells and reduces the chances of reoccurrence. It can also be used as a supportive treatment to shrink cancer and increase the success of the primary treatment.

However, depending on the conditions a cancer patient may have to undergo different treatment. You can avail the health checkup packages in Jodhpur at lower rates. Medipulse has a dedicated department for cancer care with a team of experienced doctors, who can guide the patients with the appropriate treatment. The doctors have treated thousands of patients with varying stages of cancer successfully.