What is CHEMOTHERAPY?
Chemotherapy is a drug which is widely used for treating cancer. It helps in preventing the cancer cells from growing and dividing. It works by killing cancer cells which can spread to other parts of the body. The Chemotherapy drug halts the ability of the cancer cell to grow and divide and make the patient cancer-free.
The effectiveness of chemotherapy depends on the stage of cancer a person is in. In the last stages of cancer, chemotherapy sessions can be painful, stronger and can involve heavy expenses over the course of time.
Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemotherapy has got a series of side effects which are either manageable or can go out of control in some cases. Depending on the type of cancer, stages, and treatment, the severity of side effects varies.
Some Chemotherapy Side Effects:
- Nausea and Vomiting – Over 70 percent of the patients suffer from nausea and vomiting after a Chemotherapy session.
- Alopecia and Hair Loss – After a Chemotherapy session, your hair may start to fall or become thin within a weeks time. Further, it can affect other parts of the body, making a person weak. Hair loss doesn’t have any physical consequences but it can cause stress in the later periods of life.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is one of the most common side effects which are caused by a Chemotherapy session. Hence, the patients must get adequate rests and avoid doing tough activities during that period.
- Hearing Impairment – Although it is quite rare, the toxic effects of Chemotherapy may also result in temporary or permanent hearing loss in many patients.
- Low Count of the White Blood Cells –
- While receiving the Chemotherapy treatment, the immune system can weaken because of the low count of white blood cells. This condition is known as neutropenia and makes patients more prone to infections.
- Low Red Blood Cell Count & Anemia –
- Red blood cells help in carrying oxygen throughout the body. A low level of these cells can lead to anemia.
The neoadjuvant chemotherapy refers to different medicines which are taken prior to surgery for breast cancer. In chemotherapy for breast cancer, the doctors can ask you to go for neoadjuvant chemotherapy. These drugs can shrink the tumor and can give doctors more surgical options.
The adjuvant chemotherapy is designed to prevent the reoccurrence of a disease. If the breast cancer is invasive, doctors can recommend you to go for adjuvant chemotherapy.
There are different chemotherapy drugs which can be used for treating cancer. Some important ones are as follows:
- Alkylating Agents: This works straight on the DNA and can kill the cancer cells at different cancer cell stages.
- Antimetabolites: These involve mimic proteins which the cells need for survival. Examples of these include pyrimidine, antagonists and folate antagonists.
- Plant Alkaloids: The Plant Alkaloid helps in blocking the cancer cells from dividing and growing. Examples include doxorubicin, actinomycin D and Mitomycin.
- Antitumor Antibiotics: The Antitumor Antibiotics holds on with the DNA and stops RNA from synthesizing. With this, the cell reproduction is stopped and it is useful for treating infections. Common examples include doxorubicin, bleomycin, and mitoxantrone.
On the basis of the type of cancer, the procedure can vary. The chemotherapy procedure can range from oral to intravenous.
Oral :At home, if the patient is feeling good, he/she can consume tablets as prescribed by the doctor. The dose must be taken at a given time and in case of issues, doctors must be called at the earliest.
- Intravenous Chemotherapy: This procedure can be injected into the vein either with a needle or using an intravenous transfusion.
Chemotherapy Initial Stages
Different Chemotherapy cancer agents are classified on the basis of their chemical nature and function. Here, chemotherapy types can involve on the given stages and the treatment can be done accordingly:
- -Gap 0 Phase:
- This is said as the resting phase. In this phase, the cell doesn’t divide itself and only grows when it receives the signal.
- Gap 1 phase: The cell grows and forms proteins and mRNA to treat free radicals.
- Synthesis Phase: The DNA replicates itself and forms two copies of the DNA.
Is Chemotherapy Painful?
At the start, there will be little pain when the needle is inserted but the drugs do not cause any pain.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
For chemotherapy treatment, one best way is to choose home treatments and when you trust Portea for this, you can be assured of all your worries. With us, the chemotherapy cost is minimal so there is no load on your pockets. Although chemotherapy side effects are plenty, we will strive hard to give you the best possible treatment in quick time.
We know the possible effects of cancer and our team of well-trained doctors will prove useful. You can find us by typing caring for chemo patients at home on the internet.