What is CHEMOTHERAPY drugs & HOW DOES IT WORK?
In simple language, chemotherapy drugs use to destroy cancer cells. In this cancer treatment, oncologists use one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Cancer cells usually grow and divide faster than normal cells medications work by attacking cells or by preventing the cancer cells from growing, dividing rapidly, and making more cells. It can be used alone or in combination to treat different types of cancers.
WHEN IS CHEMOTHERAPY drugs USED?
Oncologists use chemotherapy in different ways at different times. It can be used to:
· Make other treatments more effective- for example, they can be combined with radiotherapy (chemoradiation) or used before surgery. This is called Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
· After the surgery or radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of cancer coming back. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
· Try to cure cancer completely. This is called curative chemotherapy.
· To relieve symptoms if a cure is not possible. This is called palliative chemotherapy.
· To treat cancers of the blood or lymphatic systems, such as leukemia, and lymphoma.
· To treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body which is known as metastatic cancer.
· To treat cancer that comes back after treatment which is known as recurrent cancer.
HOW IS CHEMOTHERAPY drugs GIVEN?
Chemotherapy may be given in several different ways. These include:
· Injected Chemotherapy: The drugs are delivered with a shot directly into muscle In simple language, chemotherapy means the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. In this cancer treatment, oncologists use one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Cancer cells usually grow and divide faster than normal cells so chemotherapy medications work by attacking cells or by preventing the cancer cells from growing, dividing rapidly, and making more cells. Many different chemotherapy drugs are available. It can be used alone or in combination to treat a wide variety of cancers.in the hip, thigh, arm, or abdomen.
· Intravenous (IV) Chemotherapy: Many drugs require injection directly into a vein (intravenously). These drugs are given by inserting a tube with a needle into a vein in your arm or into a device in a vein in your chest. This is also called continuous infusion chemotherapy.
· Intra-arterial (IA) Chemotherapy: The drugs are delivered directly into the artery that is feeding cancer through a needle or soft thin tube (catheter).
· Oral Chemotherapy: Some chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth. They can be in a tablet, capsule, or liquid.
· Tropical Chemotherapy: Creams or gels containing chemotherapy drugs can be applied to the skin to treat certain types of skin cancer.
· It is used to treat one area of the body: It can be given directly to one area of the body. In this category following chemotherapy includes:
Ø Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy: The drug is given directly in the peritoneal cavity which contains organs like the liver, intestines, stomach, and ovaries.
Ø Intrapleural Chemotherapy: The drug is given directly in the chest cavity.
Ø Intrathecal Chemotherapy: Medicine is injected into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is found in the area surrounding the spinal cord and the brain.
Ø Intravesical Chemotherapy: The drug is given through the urethra into the bladder.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY:
Unlike radiation or surgery, which targets specific areas, chemotherapy works throughout the body. So it affects other healthy cells too, like those of the skin, hair, intestines, and bone marrow. That’s what causes a range of unpleasant side effects from the treatment, such as:
· Hair loss
· Loss of appetite
· Mouth sores
· Easy bruising
Some chemotherapy drugs can also cause long-lasting and late-developing side effects such as:
· Risk of second cancer
· Peripheral neuropathy ( Nerve damage)
· Heart problems
· Kidney problems
· Damage to lung tissue