Patrice has taught multiple subjects including Health & Science & has a Master's degree in Education.
What is Chemotherapy?
A mother diagnosed with cancer did not know how she would tell her son about her disease. She was looking for the right moment because she knew how this news would sadden him. As time went by, the son noticed a difference in his mother's appearance. She began to wear a wig, which was strange to him because his mom's hair has always been long - past her shoulders. He also noticed his mother vomiting often, and there were multiple doctor visits. The son became very suspicious and soon recognized that his mother's changes were side effects of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is the clinical use of chemical substances to treat cancer. It prevents the growth of or kills malignant cancer cells. This form of treatment is administered by injecting the cancer-fighting medication into the veins. In many cases, it involves multiple types of medications to treat the cancer, and when this happens, the patient receives a group of drugs that work like a team to kill more cancer cells. Chemotherapy is frequently a preferred choice for cancer treatment since it travels throughout the body, unlike treatment with radiation and surgery.
The drugs used in chemotherapy are divided into two main categories: antineoplastic (prevents or stops tumor development) and cytotoxic (kills cancer cells). The antineoplastic drugs, also known as anti-cancer drugs, are like a shield against cancer, whereas the cytotoxic drugs work as the sword that wipes out cancer cells. Oncologists, or cancer specialists, have to cautiously select the drugs for patients based on the type of cancer and how far it has spread. General health, age, and medical history are also factors in selecting the best chemotherapy drugs.
In addition to these main categories, chemotherapy drugs come in a variety of types, each with its own function in preventing or killing cancer. Some of the common types of chemotherapy drugs include:
- Alkylating agents stop DNA replication necessary for cancer cells to divide and multiply. the cancer from repeating.
- Nitrosoureas compounds are used to treat tumors of the brain.
- Antimetabolites halt cancer cell growth and division.
- Antitumor antibiotics stop cancer cells from growing and prevents them from multiplying.
- Mitotic inhibitors stop cell division that leads to the spread of cancer.
Chemotherapy: Side Effects
The side effects from chemotherapy can be serious. Although chemotherapy drugs treat cancer by killing its cells, some complications may occur because the medicine is also killing the healthy cells. Some side effects of chemotherapy are fatigue, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, low blood cell counts, damage to reproductive tissues, loss of weight and appetite, heart damage, bone marrow suppression, and low platelet count. Additionally, the fear of death and complications can lead to anxiety and depression. This is why support of family and friends can help patients endure during treatment.
Chemotherapy is the use of medicine to treat cancer. The two main categories of chemotherapy drugs are antineoplastic (anti-cancer) and cytotoxic (cell-killing). Chemotherapy drugs can also be divided into several types, each of which plays a specific role in preventing or killing cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs treat cancer cells, but normal cells are also affected, which can cause undesirable effects. These side effects may include hair loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, low blood cell counts, heart damage, low platelet count, loss of appetite and weight, bone marrow suppression, and damage to reproductive tissues. Anxiety and depression are also among the psychological effects of undergoing cancer treatment.
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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