What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a very common treatment method for cancer treatment. Chemotherapy is the treatment of tumor with medication where cancer cells are damaged while their growth is prevented. As the classical chemotherapies and new age chemotherapy drugs are combined currently, their effect in tumor increases. Therefore, chemotherapy cycles may include multiple drugs.
What is the Aim of Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is used to treat the cancer, prevent its spread, slow the growth of tumor and destroy cancer cells which have dispersed to other parts of the body, depending on type and stage of cancer. Chemotherapy is the only treatment method for certain cases while it is used consecutively or simultaneously with other treatment methods (surgery and radiotherapy). Chemotherapy may be administered for conserving purposes to reduce the tumor preoperatively or prevent postoperative growth. Same procedures may be used before, after or simultaneously with radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy Drugs and Their Effects
Chemotherapy drugs vary. Certain drugs are chemotherapeutic agents which affect tumors directly while others are hormones, target-oriented drugs and biological drugs fortifying the immune system. There are also current treatment methods preventing progression of tumor cells which are called targeted treatment. Side effects of such drugs are different. The administered drugs disperse to body via circulation. Chemotherapy drugs affecting the tumor directly affect building blocks of tumor cells, prevent growth of the cells and destroy the tumor.
What are the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy drugs may cause side effects. However, not all patients always develop side effects of chemotherapy. Additional treatments under supervision of doctor and nurse and healthcare personnel are required to minimize side effects of chemotherapy.