CARE hospitals offer comprehensive diagnoses and cancer treatments provided by qualified doctors and surgeons. We, at CARE Hospitals, strive to offer world-class cancer care treatments and services with a multidisciplinary team of doctors and care providers backed by state-of-the-art facilities, modern technology and equipment. We provide a wide range of treatments for cancer including medical oncology, radiation therapy, and surgical oncology.
Chemotherapy is a treatment of cancer under medical oncology using drugs to kill cancer cells and works effectively in the treatment of cancer when combined with other treatments of cancer such as radiation therapy and surgical oncology. The drugs destroy cancer cells by entirely stopping the spread or slowing the growth of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is used to treat recurrent cancers or malignant cancer (cancerous cells that spread to other parts of the body). Chemotherapy drugs are either taken orally or intravenously by injecting directly into the fluid surrounding the brain or the abdominal cavity.
Types of chemotherapy
Three types of chemotherapy treatment are available:
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is delivered to a patient before undergoing surgical or radiation procedures. This method is recommended when the tumor is too big or the location of the tumor is difficult to operate on. The drugs used in this type of therapy help reduce the size of the tumor to enable proper surgery
2. Adjuvant chemotherapy
Adjuvant chemotherapy is delivered to a patient after a surgical or radiation procedure is done to help clean up any remaining cancerous cells invisible to the imaging tests. This treatment minimizes the chances of recurrences of cancer.
Palliative chemotherapy is used to manage the symptoms of cancer.
How chemotherapy is administered
Chemotherapy may be administered in many ways, some of which include:
Oral chemotherapy includes pills, liquids, or capsules meant to be swallowed.
Intravenous chemotherapy puts the drug directly into the vein using a line.
Injection chemotherapy uses a shot in a muscle of the arm, thigh, or hip, etc.
Intrathecal chemotherapy includes injecting between the space of layers covering the brain and the spinal cord.
Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is administered directly to the intestines, stomach, and liver.
Intraarterial chemotherapy includes injecting directly into the artery that leads to the tumor.
Topical chemotherapy comes in the form of a cream that is meant to be rubbed on the skin.
Deciding on the chemotherapy drug
There are many types of chemotherapy drugs available for treating various types of cancer. The decision was taken by a doctor to include the type of drug in the treatment plan depending on the following factors:
The type of cancer,
The stage at which the cancer is currently in,
If a patient has had chemotherapy before,
If a patient has any other health problems such as diabetes or heart problems.
How often to receive chemotherapy
Treatment schedules for administering chemotherapy may vary from patient to patient. The frequency and length of chemotherapy may be determined by some factors:
Type of cancer and stage,
Purpose of chemotherapy ( to control the growth of cancer, to cure completely, or to ease symptoms),
The type of chemotherapy a patient may receive,
The response of a patient's body to chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy may be given in cycles followed by a period of rest. The rest period allows the body to recover and regenerate new healthy cells. It is best not to miss an appointment for chemotherapy. However, if it happens regardless, doctors can provide an alternative treatment schedule.
How chemotherapy may affect
Chemotherapy affects different people in different ways, which depend on:
The type of chemotherapy administered,
The dose of drugs being given,
The type of cancer,
Stage of advancement of cancer,
Health conditions before chemotherapy.
Side effects of chemotherapy
Although chemotherapy drugs can work on eliminating cancerous cells, these drugs tend to destroy healthy cells of the mouth, the intestines, and other parts of the body which can cause some visible side effects in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some of the side effects of chemotherapy include:
Vomiting and nausea,
Low platelet count.
How to know if chemotherapy is working
During chemotherapy treatment, you may have to meet your doctor very often. Our doctors will take comprehensive care to look out for symptoms of other problems arising from chemotherapy. The doctor may perform a physical examination or order medical tests and scans which may include blood and urine tests, MRI, CT scan, or PET scan. These tests and scans are to be performed to provide insight into the progress of chemotherapy treatment.
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