It is an aggressive chemical drug treatment designed to kill the body's rapidly dividing cancer cells. Since these mutated cells grow and divide more quickly than other cells, chemotherapy (chemo) is generally part of the cancer treatment. Combining chemotherapy with other treatments like surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy is a common practice. According to the CDC, about 650,000 cancer patients in the United States receive chemotherapy in outpatient oncology clinics yearly.
Cancer chemotherapy uses more than 100 different drugs. Even though all chemotherapy medications cause cell damage, they target particular cell types at various cell cycles. Combining multiple chemo medications that damage the cancer cell in several ways can improve the efficacy of the treatment.
Here are the most common types of chemotherapy:
It is common to feel anxious or overwhelmed when you learn that you need chemotherapy. Learning more about the treatment might make you feel more prepared.
Find out the timetable for your chemotherapy treatment. Our medical staff will explain when and how often you will require chemotherapy. The majority of chemotherapy treatments are administered in cycles. The length of a cycle depends on the drugs you receive. Most cycles last between two and six weeks. The number of doses scheduled for each cycle of chemotherapy depends on the recommended chemotherapy treatment duration.
There are many different ways to administer chemotherapy. The most typical method is when a needle is inserted into a vein. This type of chemotherapy is known as intravenous or IV. Additionally, you can receive chemotherapy as pills, an injection, or a lotion that you apply directly to your skin.
A crucial component of managing your care is about being informed. Your selection of questions about chemotherapy depends on individual requirements and interests, and they could vary over time.
Who is planning my chemotherapy regimen? How frequently will the plan be evaluated?
Which medical personnel will I see during each therapy session?
What kind of chemotherapy treatments will I get?
Do I need to have any exams or scans before this treatment starts?
What will my initial therapy involve?
How frequently will I receive chemo?
How much time will it take?
What typical side effects may I expect from my chemotherapy?
How will we be able to tell if the treatment is effective?
What kind of aftercare do I require after chemotherapy?
The medicine or drug combination prescribed will determine which side effects you experience while undergoing chemotherapy. The chemotherapy side effects vary according to the types of medications used. Additionally, every person's experience is unique. A medication's adverse effects may not be the same for everyone, even if they are taken at the same time. Additionally, if you use the same medicines again, you may experience different side effects than you did before.
The common side effects of the hormone therapy include:
Chemotherapy-related fatigue commonly occurs in cycles. The days after treatment are likely when you feel the most exhausted. Until the next session, fatigue usually starts to reduce steadily. Here are three ways to manage fatigue:
Chemotherapy treatments often result in hair loss. There is a possibility that it will fall out in clumps very quickly or it may fall out gradually. Usually, hair loss begins several weeks into chemotherapy. One to two months into treatment, you may witness significant hair fall. Here are three ways to manage hair fall:
The cells in the mouth and throat can suffer damage from chemotherapy. Mucositis, which is a condition brought on by this, results in painful sores in particular locations. Typically, mouth sores can appear 5 to 14 days post therapy. Here are three ways to manage mouth sores:
Some chemotherapy treatments result in diarrhea. Treating it quickly with fluid and electrolytes replenishment helps prevent dehydration (losing too much body fluid). It also aids in the prevention of other health issues. Here are some ways to manage diarrhea:
Chemotherapy leaves cancer patients vulnerable to possible infections. This occurs primarily due to a condition called neutropenia (a decrease in the number of neutrophils in your blood). Neutropenia increases the chance of developing serious infections in a person. This is because the patient’s body lacks enough neutrophils to destroy infection-causing germs. Here are three ways to manage your weakened immune system:
The cancer specialists at ACTC in Florida offer outstanding patient care by providing personalized and evidence-based treatment plans tailored to individual patients' needs. We aim to foster a positive environment that focuses on physical and mental health throughout a cancer patient's journey.
One can consult with the ACTC providers listed below: