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12 Things To Know Before Starting Chemotherapy

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Cancer can cause a number of unexpected medical complications for patients, making it deadly. Many people have heard of chemotherapy and know it’s a set of treatment cycles that uses drugs to treat and can help eventually beat cancer. However, most people still don’t have any medical understanding or information about cancer and its adverse effects. In addition, there are a number of types of chemotherapy treatment cycles and other types of cancer therapy. The type of chemo for a patient used by their oncology doctors and their team depends on what might work best for the particular cancer diagnosis, its side effects, and its medical information. Read on for twelve things you should learn about chemotherapy treatment cycles for better understanding before you or your loved ones begin cancer treatment.

1. How is Cancer formed?

The body is composed of trillions of healthy human cells. Cancer begins when something triggers changes in a normal cell. This cancer cell then grows out of control and creates more cancer cells. Each kind of cancer can affect the body in adverse ways. If cancer is not treated in time, it can spread to the rest of your body and cause life-threatening complications. Your oncology doctor and the team may give chemo drugs to help treat your cancer. Often chemotherapy is used to slow down the spread of cancer. Sometimes the treatment goal is given to alleviate symptoms or problems caused by growing cancer tumors. It can be used to improve health.

2. What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is the use of a number of potent drugs for cancer diagnosis and treatment including ovarian and breast cancer. Chemotherapy is sometimes called “chemo” because of the same combination of cancer medication used. During the 1950s Chemo was first used to help treat cancer. Chemo has made it possible for many people to live a healthy life. An oncology doctor’s given chemo drugs have been tested several times to see if they work before they are used for patients. Chemotherapy treatment cycles and radiation therapy is used to help treat cancer cells. It has made it possible for many people to live cancer-free.

3. How are Chemo drugs chosen?

Today more than 100 chemo drugs are given in treatment and they work to help treat cancer. Using the drug information, oncology doctors and specialty teams choose the best medications or chemo substance depending on the type of cancer that you have and its stage (how much cancer is in your body). This can be used by combining chemo drugs for different purposes. Before you begin cancer treatments and a radiation therapy cycle your doctor will give this treatment information to you.

4. How does Chemo help with my Treatment Goals?

Oncology doctors and professionals make use of the best Chemo drug combinations and radiation therapy to help treat cancers including ovarian and breast cancer that have metastasized. Metastasized means cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Be sure to talk to your oncology doctors about the goal of your treatment and get all the information regarding side effects. The drug combinations given can also have a possible effect on normal cells too. But most normal cells are used to repairing themselves so the good outweighs the bad.

5. How is Type of Chemotherapy Determined for Treatment?

Your complete cancer treatment procedure options to be used will be determined by a few factors. The type of cancer you have, the stage at which you have been diagnosed, whether or not you have received chemotherapy treatment or radiation therapy before, and your personal health history. If the cancer is metastatic, you may not get the type of chemo commonly given through an IV. This treatment is called infusion chemo. For metastatic cancer, Chemotherapy pills that have a particular drug combination are given and must be taken every day, and you only have to visit the hospital once a month to receive an injection. This drug combination injection given is used to enhance healthy bone growth since the metastasized cancer might be attacking your bones.

6. How is Chemotherapy Used?

The oncology team will give Chemotherapy treatments for cancer in many ways including orally, topically, intravenously using IV drips, through injections, intra-arterial administrations, and intraperitoneal administrations. The final treatment and drug combination will be decided by your oncology team.

7. How Often Will I Get Chemotherapy?

How often you undergo chemotherapy treatment varies widely, factors depending on the cancer diagnosis, the form of chemotherapy, the cancer treatment objectives, and other factors. This may be constant or it may alternate with rest periods in between depending on the cancer treatment plan and drug combination as determined by the oncology doctor.

8. What Will Chemotherapy Feel Like?

What you feel when you get chemotherapy treatment depends on a variety of factors including the form of chemotherapy the oncology team gives you, the cancer diagnostic level, the history of personal health, and the capacity of the patient to cope with the symptoms. Symptoms can be noticeable for certain people and other symptoms can take days or even weeks to develop. Typical chemotherapy treatment side effects include fatigue and nausea. In others, these are short bouts from which they can easily recover and for others, the symptoms may last longer. Managing your symptoms and health at your own pace is crucial, and ensure that you take care of yourself during cancer treatment. There is no reason to worry as your oncology team will help you.

9. Not all Chemo Drugs cause Hair Loss

If your oncology team gives you an infusion chemo cycle, you will have to go to the hospital for just a few hours of chemo treatment. Following this, you may have a few days of side effects. Side effects depend on factors like drug or combination of drugs you get, some may not cause hair loss. Side effects regarding your health vary and include aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, and other factors. You may have mouth sores for certain medications and loss of appetite, taste, smell, or all three. It’s pretty rough to endure, but believe that chemo will do its job and will help you become healthy. This mindset will make you face cancer treatments bravely.

10. Feeling Uneasy is Normal

You’ll most likely wake up in the morning on the first day of chemo with anxiety in the heart because you’re not sure what’s to come. Take a book, a newspaper, your knitting, or any favourite hobby to help you pass the time and keep your mind off it. Having chemo via an IV normally takes a long time. Remind yourself that it is for the sake of your health and undergo your treatment.

11. Always Ask the “What if” Questions

An underlying or secondary disorder may cause severe harm. So don’t hesitate to inform your doctor about your health history. Ask professionals and learn about how particular types of cancer treatment might work to affect you. Ask for the reason when something is done. You can help avoid some unnecessary pain and unwanted treatments if you question your doctor about each step of the treatment given. For example, if you suffer from an underlying bleeding condition. It can cause the hand-foot syndrome, a rare side effect. This can lead to slow leakage of blood from the hands and feet from the tiny capillaries which will soon develop into severe bleeding. As a result, you may have to stay in the hospital longer.

12. Can Chemotherapy make me Cancer free?

If surgery was done to remove a cancerous tumor, such as a lumpectomy for breast cancer, or hysterectomy for ovarian cancer, your oncology specialist may give chemotherapy drugs in cycles, and radiation therapy is given to make sure that any leftover cancer cells are eliminated too. Chemotherapy is also given for making you ready for other types of cancer treatments. It is sometimes given to treat a cancer tumor so it can be surgically removed. Different types of chemo drugs are also given for making you prepared for radiation therapy. During late-stage cancer treatment, chemotherapy drugs are used to alleviate pain.

Conclusion

Chemo may be an inevitable part of your cancer treatments so stock up on healthy and whole foods. Keep yourself hydrated. It can help ease some side effects. So have plenty of low-sugar drinks or juice on hand. Be prepared with frozen meals or book a meal delivery service because you may not feel up to cooking after chemo treatment. Snack on fruits, vegetables, and healthy high-protein food like yogurt. Give yourself time to recuperate and learn your limits. Reach out to an understanding family member or friend to help when your side effects become difficult to manage. There is no reason to undergo it alone.

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