• What is chemotherapy?
  • Benefits of chemotherapy
  • How effective is chemotherapy?
  • How is chemotherapy?
  • Side effects
  • Other side effects
  • conclusion

  • What is chemotherapy?

    Chemotherapy is the main type of medication
    cancer treatment. There are a number of other therapies that are strictly
    speaking, are also chemotherapeutic, hormonal e.g.
    therapy and immunotherapy, but the term "chemotherapy" specifically means
    treatment of cytotoxic agents, i.e. violating the fission process
    cancer cells, resulting in new form.

    Benefits of chemotherapy

    The drugs are administered into the bloodstream, where they circulate throughout the
    body. This is a huge advantage to chemotherapy
    other methods of cancer treatment. Often you can not remove all of the cancer
    cells by surgery or radiotherapy,
    which are local methods, ie their action is directed only at
    any one particular part of the body. This is explained by
    a number of cells can be separated from the primary tumor and
    blood flow falls in a particular part of the body, which begins to grow,
    forming a secondary tumor or metastases.

    Since chemotherapeutic drugs are moved by the same route,
    they can strike these distant cells and secondary tumors in any
    the body portion. The first experience of the application of chemotherapy
    methods, the effect of which was based on this principle was
    antibiotics for infections. Antibiotics destroy bacteria,
    causing an infection in the body where they may be. However,
    bacteria inherently differ from normal
    body cells, which makes it possible to create antibiotics that
    targets the bacteria without harming normal
    cells. Meanwhile, the cancer cells differ from normal very
    slightly. They have lost the mechanism that controls their growth and
    reproduction, but otherwise most chemical processes,
    occurring in both cell types are similar.

    Consequently, the preparations
    acting on the cancer cells, apparently normal and damage
    cells. Although the cancer cells are defective with respect to comparison
    to normal body cells and less able to
    self-healing. Application of chemotherapeutic methods are based on
    account of the defects. The treatment usually lasts from one to several
    days, then make a break for a few weeks. At that time
    restored normal cells, whereas cancer cells
    recovered only slightly. Subsequent cycles
    drug treatment aimed at further destruction of cancer
    cells while normal cells are
    continuously recovering.

    How effective is chemotherapy?

    Some types of cancer can be cured by chemotherapy alone. but
    for most types of cancer it is not yet possible, and drug
    in such cases, the treatment is carried out in order to control the development of
    disease and its containment, as well as to facilitate
    symptoms. The main reason explaining why using
    chemotherapeutic methods can not cure most cancers,
    It is either that cancer cells become resistant to
    drugs or they have partial or complete resistance to him
    from the very beginning. For example, if at any cell carcinoma 99%
    sensitive to drugs, chemotherapy will eliminate 99
    % Injury, but did not have any impact on the remaining 1% of the cells,
    which will continue to grow. Resistance to therapeutic drugs and incomplete
    the destruction of cancer cells are the major obstacles to the improvement of
    the effectiveness of treatment and have been the subject of intensive research
    studies. Cancer cells become resistant to a particular
    drug through the development of biochemical processes that allow
    to overcome the damage to the cells with this drug. One way
    Solutions to this problem is to assign a number of different
    drugs, each of which has a specific destructive
    effects on cancer cells. The development of several protection mechanisms
    cells more difficult, so it increases the likelihood
    continuous tumor destruction. This method resulted in chemotherapy
    a significant increase in cure rates for some types of

    Another way to overcome resistance is to appoint
    significantly higher doses of chemotherapeutic agents. Problem in
    that such high doses cause serious damage and normal
    cells, especially bone marrow responsible for blood formation.
    Such high doses are justified only in cases when it is possible
    bone marrow or stem cells. The larger the tumor, the
    greater probability of drug resistance. Therefore, if the primary
    the tumor is surgically removed and there is a danger that a small
    the number of cancer cells have already spread to other
    parts of the body, in order to avoid relapse when treatment is
    spending is more difficult, immediately after the operation can proceed to
    chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Such
    approach called adjuvant chemotherapy.

    How is chemotherapy?

    preparations can be administered orally (by mouth), most
    iv (intravenous method). The goal of this treatment is to
    active anticancer agents administered into the bloodstream in which they
    transferred to cancer cells wherever they are. Sometimes
    chemotherapeutic agents are injected directly into specific
    areas of the body, such as cerebrospinal fluid or
    straight intestine. In this case, the aim is to achieve a high
    drug concentrations at a given location. The easiest method of administration
    medication - in oral tablet or liquid form, which gives
    the ability to take them home without the help of a nurse or doctor.

    However, it is less reliable method than with injections because
    no certainty that when taking each dose in the body
    It is absorbed the same amount of drug. Most
    common way is to introduce
    chemotherapeutic drug intravenously or by injection, either
    often drip method. Typically, such treatment should be carried out in
    hospital outpatient or inpatient. Each dose of the drug administered in
    over a period of one to several days at intervals of 1-4 weeks (in
    Depending on the treatment regimen) courses in the total number of 4 to 8. Occasionally
    Lower doses are administered continuously, which use a small portable
    pump. As it is poured into the drug throughout the body
    several weeks or even months. The pump is attached to a belt or worn
    in a bag, and patients can go about their normal activities.

    Side effects

    Chemotherapy can cause a variety of side effects, and in
    the past, they were very heavy, and the treatment caused, in many cases,
    unpleasant emotions and poorly tolerated. Who chemotherapy changed
    beyond recognition. New drugs have fewer side effects, and
    At the same time, they are often more effective than the old ones.

    that developed much more sophisticated methods to facilitate and
    prevention of side effects. The three most common
    side effects of drug treatments for cancer include nausea and
    vomiting, hair loss, bone marrow suppression. Nausea and vomiting
    the last was the most painful reactions to chemotherapy. One of
    the most important modern advances in the treatment of cancer - the creation of a very
    effective anti-nausea (Antiemetic drugs). They are in
    many cases can eliminate nausea, and is now almost
    There are situations where patients are undergoing chemotherapy have suffered
    indomitable nausea or vomiting. Because the
    chemotherapeutic agents have also become more qualitative and often
    cause less discomfort, many patients undergo the entire course
    chemotherapy without suffering nausea or vomiting. Hair loss
    seen with some, but not all, of chemotherapy
    drugs. It may be nothing more than a minor loss or
    thinning hair, but sometimes occurs and complete baldness, and not
    only the head, but also on other areas of the body.

    ChemotherapySuch a reaction -
    very agonizing aspect of cancer treatment, because people find it difficult to
    adapt to this change of appearance, which, in addition to
    others may probably be taken as a very bright exterior
    the manifestation of the disease. Many people wear wigs or
    cover head scarf or hat.

    Hair Loss - only temporary
    phenomenon, and immediately after the end of treatment, they always grow back to normal
    speed. Effects on bone marrow due to the fact that its cells
    especially sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs. Bone marrow
    produces blood components - erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.
    When the number of these cells is reduced as a result of damage by
    action of cytotoxic agents may have some adverse
    effects: feeling of tiredness and weakness as a result of anemia caused by
    deficiency of red blood cells; susceptibility to infections due to low
    levels of white blood cells; bleeding and bruising as a result of a lack of

    These side effects can be largely
    control therefore follows a course of drug treatment
    regularly conduct blood tests in order to check the levels of
    these cells, as well as the detection and treatment of various disorders.
    Anemia is treated by blood transfusions. If leukocyte levels
    low or it seems likely to increase their number
    you can resort to injections of growth factors. Transfusion
    platelet (like blood transfusion, but in this case it
    is one of the platelets) can be done at low levels of
    cells. development of new platelet-derived growth factor is under way for
    treatment and prevention of bleeding due to their low content.

    Other side effects

    Diarrhea is often seen with some, but not
    All chemotherapy drugs. It can be easily and effectively
    treated usual medicines sold in pharmacies. In severe
    diarrhea can temporarily suspend or reduce the dose of chemotherapy
    a chemotherapeutic drug, diarrhea is not
    stop. Fertility. Some chemotherapeutic agents
    may affect male fertility by reducing the number of spermatozoa
    in the seminal fluid and leading to infertility which is sometimes
    permanent. Chemotherapy can also affect women's
    ovulation, leading to temporary and permanent infertility. Before the beginning
    drug treatment should be discussed with your physician related
    fertility issues, to be able to take preventive measures.
    Men may be offered sperm preservation, providing
    storing samples of semen frozen at the
    case, if in the future they plan to have children. Keeping women
    ova is currently the subject of experimental
    research and may well be possible. People suffering
    infertility as a result of treatment, counseling, and necessary
    moral support to help them come to terms with his

    Women whose treatment causes permanent menopause,
    It can be carried out hormone replacement therapy to attenuate
    symptoms that may be quite heavy. The sexual life.
    There are no grounds for refusal of sexual activity during
    while there is no medical treatment, although because of other
    health of patients side effects can not be sufficiently good
    for this. Since the effect of chemotherapy on fertility more
    uncertainty and unpredictability, it is always recommended to resort to
    or other contraceptives during treatment and for a
    after its ending, regardless of which of the partners is
    It carried out because there is a probability of conception in this period.
    Men undergoing chemotherapy should consider using
    condoms because women sometimes complain caused by cum
    sharp pain and burning sensation.


    Thanks to the achievements of recent years, relating to the quality of the
    drugs, methods of administration, and ways to facilitate or
    prevention of side effects, chemotherapy was much less
    painful than it was 10 years ago. Now doctors often have to
    to hear that the patients tolerate it much easier than expected.
    Nevertheless, it remains a strong and unpleasant emotions
    anxiety, so many people in need of support from the
    his family and friends, to help them cope with the challenges and
    maintain a positive attitude to what is a
    kind of marathon in the treatment process.

    continuously conducted numerous scientific studies and clinical
    trials of a more sophisticated methods of chemotherapy
    almost all types of cancer. The most striking results were obtained in
    research to develop effective chemotherapy combinations
    with other treatments, such as radiation therapy and surgical
    interventions aimed at cure or prolonging life
    in situations where it would previously have been impossible.

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