Chemotherapy is a treatment procedure usually performed with a medication or combination of medications to treat or kill rapidly growing cancer cells in the patient’s body.

The basic aim of performing Chemo is to prevent or slow the progression of cancer cells. Chemo is a systemic therapy and can affect the whole body. Besides attacking rapidly growing cancer cells, Chemo medications can also affect normal, healthy cells to cause side effects.

Although some chemotherapy side effects are mild and treatable, while others may cause serious complications.

Some common Side effects are;

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue/Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Pain
  • Bruising

In a few cases Chemotherapy treats cancer by itself, but in many cases, it’s used in combination with Surgery, Radiation therapy, and Biological therapy.

Purpose of Chemotherapy:
It may be used to:

  • Shrink a tumor before radiation, surgery or therapy, also known as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • Demolish the leftover cancer cells after radiation or surgery known as adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • Improves efficacy of other biological or radiation therapies.
  • Removes cancer cells that reoccur or spread to other parts of your body

Frequency of Chemotherapy
It depends on-

  • The type of cancer
  • The treatment goal i.e. control growth, ease of pain, or cure
  • Chemotherapy type
  • Response of the body towards the treatment

Chemotherapy is usually given in “cycles,” i.e. a period of treatment and then a rest period. For example, in the four-week cycle, there may be 1 week of treatment and then 3 weeks of rest. The rest period allows the body to make new healthy cells.

As a common practice, you may feel very tired or ill after chemotherapy. So, always prepare yourself for this by getting your relative or friend to drive you back and forth from treatment. You should also plan to rest on the day of and the day after treatment.

During this time, Our specialist doctors at CCDC may help you cope with the severity of side effects caused due to chemotherapy.