Most people immediately think of chemotherapy when thinking of cancer treatment and that’s not surprising when you consider that chemotherapy has been used to eradicate cancer cells since the 1950s. Today, there are other treatments available for treating cancer, depending on the type and stage of the cancer itself. But chemotherapy continues to be widely used and very effective in targeting cancer cells throughout the body.
Modern chemotherapy treatment includes over 100 different types of drugs that are used at an oncologist’s discretion – based on the type of cancer that the patient has and how far it may have spread. The goal of chemotherapy is to flood the body with the drug of choice so that cancer cells will be inhibited from growing and the spread of the disease will be stopped. Additionally, chemotherapy drugs are also used to kill cancer cells altogether and, ultimately, that’s the best of what chemotherapy can achieve for its patients.
Things to know about chemotherapy:
· Chemotherapy drugs can be injected or taken orally as a pill or liquid.
· The length of each course of chemotherapy treatment can differ dramatically from one patient to the next and depends on the type of cancer and the ultimate goal of chemo. It can be used as a follow up treatment to surgery or as the treatment itself and all of this weighs heavily in putting together a treatment plan.
· Just as the plan differs from patient to patient, so too does the ability to continue with life as normal – or as close to normal as is achievable under these circumstances – during treatment. Some people are better able to manage the side effects of chemotherapy or don’t experience quite the same level of side effects as another patient. The ability to continue with a normal work schedule, etc. therefore varies as well. Doctors recommend that their patients listen to their bodies and allow that to be their guide for how much they should anticipate accomplishing. Ultimately, rest is just as important during cancer treatment as anything else.
· Side effects can range from nausea and vomiting to diarrhea, constipation, hair loss, skin and nail changes, and more. There’s nothing that is totally by the book when it comes to chemotherapy side effects so it’s important for patients to discuss their particular experience with their doctor so that plans may be made to help alleviate symptoms as much as possible.
About the author:
The Las Colinas Cancer Center is located on the service road of HWY 161 and Las Colinas Boulevard near the Regions Bank. We are located just across the Highway from the Las Colinas Medical Center. We designed the Las Colinas Cancer Center with our patients in mind. Our experienced and trained medical staffs is attentive to detail and our center offers the most advanced cancer fighting technology available in North Texas including on-site PET & CT Scanning. The physicians on staff at our Las Colinas location are Dr. Gregory Echt, Dr. Neeraja Dasari, Dr. James Mackey, and Dr. Kiran Kancharla. Visit lascolinascancercenter.com to know more.