Chemotherapy is a form of medical treatment for a variety of diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Chemotherapy involves the use of medications that assist in eradicating cancer cells and preventing their further multiplication in the body. As cancer cells typically develop and multiply much more rapidly than normal cells of the body, chemotherapy is a more effective method for eliminating them. Chemotherapy typically functions by inhibiting the multiplication, growth, and division of cancer cells. The chemotherapy drugs are quite potent and can also cause harm to the patient’s surrounding healthy cells.Chemotherapy is a more invasive cancer treatment, but it guarantees maximal cancer cell destruction in the majority of cancer patients. The damage caused by chemotherapy medications to normal cells is known as chemotherapy’s side effects, which are also typical of other treatments for cancer patients. The objectives of chemotherapy depend on the severity and variety of cancer a patient has. In some cases, the aim of chemotherapy is to eliminate all cancer cells and prevent their recurrence, but this is not always possible. In other instances, a patient may undergo chemotherapy to slow or halt the development of cancer cells.
Slowing or delaying the development of cancer cells through chemotherapy may also aid in the treatment of cancer-related symptoms. Chemotherapy that delays the progression of cancer is sometimes referred to as palliative chemotherapy. There are a number of cancer cell-killing medications available. A medical oncologist is a physician who specializes in the pharmaceutical treatment of cancer. The medical oncologist prescribes chemotherapy medications to a cancer patient based on how far the cancer has spread in that patient. A patient may receive a combination of drugs because this is sometimes more effective than administering a single drug.
The dose, treatment regimen, and drugs depend on several factors, including the patient’s body weight, the type of cancer, the patient’s symptom management, the size of the tumor, the location of the cancer, its spread, and the patient’s age. The cancer patient’s health care team may administer chemotherapy medications in the doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. Some patients can also receive oral chemotherapy while remaining at home. Some patients may receive chemotherapy medications for a set period of time, such as one year or six months, while others may receive chemotherapy for as long as it is effective.
The side effects of multiple chemotherapy medications are too severe for daily administration. Typically, doctors administer chemotherapy medications at intervals, giving the patient time to recover and rest before administering the next dose. Intermittent dosing allows healthy cells to regenerate. One course of chemotherapy consists of multiple cycles of medication treatment, and one course typically lasts at least three months. Although some cancers may be effectively treated with shorter recuperation intervals between cycles, this phenomenon is known as dose-dense scheduling. Chemotherapy is more effective against certain malignancies when administered on a more intensive schedule. However, this increases the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects. Consult your health care team before selecting a chemotherapy schedule for yourself.