Chemotherapy

Introduction

Chemotherapy or chemo is a cancer treatment modality in which anti-cancer drugs are administered to the patient. Chemotherapy is done with three motives. The first is curative, which aims to cure cancer, the second is palliative, which is aimed at reducing the symptoms and the third is control, which aims to stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. The anti-cancer drugs given in chemo are very powerful and destroy the cancer cells but they can also damage the healthy cells, making the therapy a risky process. It can be administered in isolation or with other treatments.


When is it performed?

It is performed on cancer patients or those who have cancerous tumors. Chemotherapy is not performed on every patient in the same manner. The dosage of drugs differs from one patient to another, depending on their cancer type, health status, and the spread of cancer in their body.


How is it performed?

Chemotherapy works throughout the body and it may be restricted to one drug or a combination of drugs. It may also be given in conjunction with radiation and consists of several sessions or cycles. The sessions have breaks in between so that the patient can recover and the body may build new cells. Each session may last from 15 to 30 minutes or more. The anti-cancer drugs in chemo may be given by mouth, as a cream, in a shot, or intravenously.


Recovery

Chemotherapy has short-term as well as long-term side effects on the health of the patient. So, recovery takes a long time. After it gets over, the patient may experience weakness and thus, returning to normal routine depends on the health of the patient and how they are feeling. It is important to go for regular check-ups after the therapy and the patient must adhere to a healthy a lifestyle to boost their immunity.