Treatment For Cancer

What is

Chemotherapy is a popular drug treatment used against Cancer. It uses medicine to destroy fast-spreading Cancer cells. Cancer cells can grow at a rapid rate. Chemotherapy works by using powerful chemicals to stop these cells from reproducing. These drugs are usually given intravenously or orally. There are different types of chemotherapies available, and they all work with a similar mode of action. Doctors may utilise Chemotherapy in conjunction with other forms of Cancer treatments.

The efficiency of Chemotherapy in treating Cancer depends on several factors, including the Cancer stage, type of Cancer, size, and location of the Cancer, age, and overall health of the patient. While this procedure may be effective in treating different types of primary and metastatic Cancers, it can cause serious side effects.

Chemotherapy Treatment

Renowned Chemotherapy Surgeons
at Wockhardt Hospitals

Dr Boman Dhabar

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Dr Parin Sangoi

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Need of Chemotherapy

Once a person is diagnosed with Cancer, Chemotherapy may stop its spread. Cancer cells can rapidly spread in one’s body. Chemotherapy is required to target rapidly dividing cells and prevent them from dividing and multiplying. This pocess may be done as follows:

  1. It can be the prime form of treatment to kill Cancer cells.
  2. It can be used along with other
  3. treatments like radiation and surgery.
  4. It can be used after Cancer removal surgery to kill any hidden or leftover Cancer cells.
  5. In cases where Cancer may be terminal, Chemotherapy may be needed as a palliative treatment to reduce the symptoms of Cancer.

The goal may vary depending on the type and stage of Cancer. In some cases, the goal may be to eliminate Cancer cells, while in others, it may be to shrink the tumour, relieve symptoms, or slow down the spread of Cancer.

Causes of Cancer

Cancer can develop in the body due to several factors, including lifestyle factors such as smoking and poor diet, exposure to carcinogens, and genetic mutations. Some Cancers may be inherited, while others may be caused by environmental factors such as radiation or chemical exposure.

In some cases, it can also be used to treat other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, by suppressing the immune system and lowering inflammation in the body.

What are the
Different Types of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be categorised into different types depending on how the treatment is delivered or what types of drugs are used. Based on how it is delivered, it can be of the following types:

  1. Intravenous
  2. Oral
  3. Topical

Based on the type and combination of drugs, it can be of the following types:

  1. Alkylating agents
  2. Antimetabolites
  3. Anti-tumour antibiotics
  4. Mitotic inhibitors
  5. Plant alkaloids
  6. Topoisomerase inhibitors

Doctors will decide what is the best course based on individual cases.

Tests required Before

Before you go in for any type of treatment, doctors must perform a complete physical exam along with a review of your medical history. Doctors will also conduct some tests before they schedule your treatment. These tests help determine your overall health as well as the most appropriate course of treatment. Some of these tests include:

Some patients may require fewer tests, while others may need to go through some additional tests. The tests you get will depend on what type of Cancer you have and how it is affecting your body.

You are encouraged to discuss with your healthcare provider any queries that you may have regarding these tests. As a patient, you have all the right to completely understand the course of your Chemotherapy treatment.

How is Chemotherapy treatment
for Cancer performed?

Chemotherapy treatment for Cancer can be performed in different ways as best deemed by the Oncologists. Here are some common ways in which you may receive it:

  1. Intravenously: Chemo drugs can be administered intravenously through an IV line where a tube with a needle is inserted into your arm’s vein or a vein in your chest.
  2. Orally: These drugs can also be given orally in the form of pills.
  3. Topically: Sometimes, Chemo drugs can also be applied on the skin in the form of topical creams or gels.
  4. Through Injections: You may also receive the treatment in the form of injections or shots.
  5. Targeting an area of the body: In certain cases, it can target a particular area of the body directly, like the central nervous system, abdomen, chest cavity, etc. These are known as targeted therapy.

Before Treatment

Here are some things to expect before you go for your treatment.

  1. Be prepared for some tests and evaluations before treatment. These include blood tests, scans, etc.
  2. You may have a consultation session with your Oncologist before you go for the treatment. The doctors will provide information and counselling about the potential side effects of Chemo and how to manage them. It is advised that you learn everything you can about the process you will receive, as this will help you manage the side effects and prepare physically and mentally for the procedure.
  3. It is recommended to schedule a dentist appointment before the chemo session. This is done to ensure you have a healthy mouth and there is no infection. This treatment can cause side effects like mouth sores and changes in your taste buds, and oral infections can aggravate these issues
  4. Talk to the doctor about any recommended lifestyle changes and dietary requirements to incorporate into your routine before the session.
  5. Talk to your family members and have someone drive you to the hospital and be with you after the chemo treatment.
  6. Have things like books, music, movies, etc. with you to divert your mind during the session.

Chemotherapy affects different people differently. Planning can help you be in some control and get through the treatment with mental and physical strength

During Treatment

Chemotherapy may be considered in an outpatient unit, doctor’s office, hospital, depending on your condition. During the session, you will receive the medicine as prescribed by the doctor, i.e., orally or intravenously. The length of a process can vary depending on the individual’s specific treatment plan and the type of Cancer being treated. In general, an infusion session can take 2 to 4 hours, but it can sometimes take longer.

After Treatment

What happens after a session will depend on where and what type of therapy you received. After a chemo session, the following will occur:

  1. You will be monitored by the medical team for some time for any immediate side effects. If there are no immediate side effects, you will be asked to go home.
  2. You may have a post-chemo consultation with the doctor, wherein the doctor will explain the possible side effects and how to deal with them.
  3. You may have pain and swelling on the IV site.
  4. You will be asked to come back after some time for post-chemo tests and scans to see how effective the treatment was.
  5. You may feel a range of side effects, including nausea, hair loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, etc.
  6. Your process may be repeated daily, weekly, or monthly. The doctors will let you know when you need to come back for the next session.

Risk Associated
with Chemotherapy Treatment

Certain risk factors can affect the individual response treatment. These include:

  1. Size, location, stage, and type of the Cancer
  2. Patient’s health and age
  3. Pre-existing medical conditions
  4. Weakened immune system
  5. Dosage of the chemo drugs
  6. Smoking
  7. Excessive alcohol usage
  8. Drug abuse
  9. Poor nutrition

It itself can cause several side effects, including:

  1. Anaemia
  2. Bleeding
  3. Constipation
  4. Diarrhoea
  5. Fatigue
  6. Fever
  7. Hair loss
  8. Loss of appetite
  9. Mouth sores and dry mouth
  10. Nausea
  11. Neuropathy or nerve damage
  12. Pain
  13. Skin and nail changes
  14. Vomiting

Chemotherapy treatment for Cancer is part of an overall carefully devised Cancer treatment plan. Cancer is a deadly disease, and its treatment should be done by experienced Oncologists with the latest treatment methods. If you are looking for Chemotherapy treatment in India, Wockhardt Hospitals has the best oncologists, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and the latest technology for the most effective treatment methods.

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Yes, many individuals resume a relatively normal life after completing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Recovery varies widely depending on factors like overall health, type of cancer, and treatment duration. While side effects like fatigue and weakened immunity might persist initially, they often improve over time. Regular follow-ups with doctors help monitor long-term effects and ensure ongoing support. With time and proper care, most people regain their strength and gradually return to their usual activities post-chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy treatment aims to prolong life and improve quality by targeting cancer cells. While it can have side effects, it often extends life expectancy and enhances survival rates. For some, there might be short-term health challenges during treatment, but these can improve post-therapy. Advancements in medical approaches strive to minimize side effects and improve overall well-being. Chemotherapy is often chosen in the final stages based on its possible advantages in the treatment of cancer.

The chemotherapy procedure can help manage and sometimes shrink tumors in stage 4 cancer. While it might not completely eradicate cancer at this advanced stage, it can slow its progression, alleviate symptoms, and improve quality of life. Combining chemotherapy with other treatments like surgery or targeted therapies can enhance its effectiveness in managing stage 4 cancer.

Chemotherapy treatment can accelerate certain aging-related effects due to its impact on healthy cells. While it may cause temporary changes like hair loss or skin dryness, these often reverse after treatment ends. The extent of aging effects varies among individuals, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate some of these impacts.

Stage 2 cancer is often curable, especially when diagnosed and treated early. Treatment options typically include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination based on the specific cancer type and individual factors. The chances of successful treatment and cure are generally higher in stage 2 compared to later stages of cancer. Regular follow-ups and adherence to the prescribed treatment plan significantly improve the prospects of complete recovery. Consulting with doctors can help you choose the best course of action for treating and possibly curing stage 2 cancer.

The cost of chemotherapy treatment in India varies widely based on factors like the type of cancer, specific medicines used, treatment duration, and hospital fees. On average, chemotherapy might cost as much as INR 50,000, with prices starting at INR 10,000. Government hospitals and certain healthcare programs may offer subsidized or more affordable options for those in need.

Chemotherapy treatment for cancer itself is typically not painful, but it can cause side effects like nausea, fatigue, and discomfort. Some chemotherapy medicines might cause temporary discomfort during administration, such as a slight burning sensation or cold feeling at the injection site. To ease any pain or discomfort brought on by chemotherapy, pain management techniques and medications are used frequently.

The “7-day rule” in the chemotherapy process refers to administering medications to prevent potential side effects and complications. It involves medications given to boost white blood cell count. Typically, these medicines are administered within 24 hours after completing a chemotherapy cycle. The purpose is to reduce the risk of infection and other complications due to lowered immunity. By stimulating the production of infection-fighting white blood cells, it helps the body recover faster. The timing of these medications is crucial to support the body’s immune system during its recovery phase.