What are the advantages and disadvantages cancer chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a treatment process where chemo rays are used to treat the patient. It is normally provided to the cancer affected patients.

These rays are really strong which can help the cancer affected patient. But the patient who cannot withstand the pressure of chemo therapy may be severely ill.

It is important to go ahead with the test to find out whether the person can withstand the effect of the chemotherapy.

Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages about chemotherapy. Many people suffering from cancer has achieved good result with the help of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is an effective drug treatment used to kill cancer cells by stopping their ability to grow and divide.Chemotherapy uses medicines to attack the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is administered intravenously, when the medicine goes directly in the veins.

It can also be given orally in the form of pills, capsules or liquids. Another method to give the therapy is to inject the medicine into a muscle or to the fatty part of the arm, leg, or abdomen.

In the Intra-arterially the medicine goes directly into the artery that supplies blood to the cancer.

When the medicine goes directly into the abdomen or the part of the body that contains the intestines, liver, stomach, and—in women—ovaries it is called the peritoneal method.Topically the medicine is applied as a cream and rubbed into the skin.

Chemotherapy is one such tool, to fight back with the hazardous disease of long time that has not spared lives, called “cancer”. Chemotherapy(derived from chemo) is a therapy which destroys the cells in the body, more specifically cancer cells.

However, chemotherapy is also driven by the usage of certain medications and antibiotics as well. Cancer is a class of disease followed by out of control cell growth.

The class of cancer is also determined, as there are more than 100 types of cancer, by the type of cell generating in the body.

The professionals when talk about chemotherapy, the medication they provide is cytotoxic medication, which prevents cancer cells to divide and grow.

The cancer cells grow and divide in the body, therefore chemotherapy is one solution which provides complete cell growth. However, complete cell growth is lead by the healthy cells which are destroyed too along with the cancer cells.

Therefore, chemotherapy is pursued in months, weeks and days such that proper time is given to the healthy cells to grow and so the body does not suffer the major consequences under execution.

Chemotherapy is often used alongside with other treatments. The patients who are capable of exercising need to pursue some exercises after chemotherapy to get better results. It is generally encouraged by doctors.

Studies have shown that people performing exercises just after chemotherapy has more chances to achieve good results than people who are physically incapable.

The physical exercise undertaken on regular routine also prevents the risk of secondary cancer among survivors. The regular exercise may even decrease the tremendous growth of cancer cells in the body.

Objectives of chemotherapy

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  •  Total remission– chemotherapy alone can be undertaken in order to prevent the growth of the cancer cells. It is also called monotherapy.
  • Combination therapies: chemotherapy is performed along with other therapies such as radio therapies, in order to treat the growth of cancer cells.
  • Slow Down progression: this treatment basically comes under action when the cancer is in final stage, in the advancement stage, the growth of cells are maximum and so can be treated well. Therefore, slow down the cancer action to get rigorous.
  • Prevention: chemotherapy when performed, is basically executed after the tumour is removed from the body.

Working of chemotherapy on the patient

The cells in our body grow and develop in an orderly manner, they do not undergo non calculative multiplication and generate in the required fashion. However, cancer cells in the body, develops in a non-orderly manner, divides rigorously and initiate high growth.

These cancer cells, at one time, can even push back the useful cells in the body, and so the body is surrendered with active cancer cells. Cancer cells start occupying more space in the body and thereby, leads to division and growth.

The chemo drugs directly affects the cancer cells in the body prohibiting the same to divide and multiply, the chemotherapy can be introduced in the patient’s body either directly at the cancer site or injected into the blood.

The medication stops the growth or destroys the active body cells and the targeted cancer cells.

The course of chemotherapy depend upon the patients advancement stage. It can be a one day treatment or may last for several weeks. A proper therapy plan is provided by the doctors, mentioning the duration and no. of sessions.

The therapy is a one day treatment followed by a week’s rest(the body’s active cells to grow), or a day treatment with three weeks of rest, it is a repetitive procedure.

Uses of traditional chemotherapy

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  • Chemotherapy is often used as an adjuvant treatment given after surgery or radiation therapy in order to kill any cancer cells remaining.
  • It may also be used as neoadjuvant therapy given before surgery or radiation therapy to shrink tumors.
  • In cases of blood cancer or cancer of the lymph system, such as leukemia and lymphoma, chemotherapy may be the only treatment given.
  • Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer that comes back after treatment or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Many different types of chemotherapy drugs are used in a variety of ways to treat different types of cancer.

Benefits of chemotherapy

  • The benefits of chemotherapy depend on the type and stage of cancer.
  • In the early- stage cancer, surgery is performed with the intention of curing the disease. This is often followed by chemotherapy to reduce the risks of recurrence.
  • Chemotherapy Eliminates cancer cells and prevents recurrence.
  • It controls the cancer by slowing its growth and reduces symptoms caused by the cancer. This helps in increasing the life span of the person.
  • The benefits of chemotherapy also include destroying cancer cells, shrinking existing tumors and preventing cancer cells from thriving and multiplying.
  • It helps to prevent or slow down the progression of disease to help extend life.
  • Chemotherapy is used to shrink an existing tumor, in order to improve the patient’s quality of life by decreasing the pain and pressure caused by the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy is also used to shrink tumors prior to surgery or radiation treatments.
  • In some cases, the chemotherapy can even get rid of all cancer cells, allowing the patient to go back to living a normal life.
  • When cancer grows it puts pressure on the nearby organs, nerves and blood vessels. This causes severe amounts of pain and discomfort. Chemotherapy prevents the cancer from growing and spreading.  The pressure is taken off from the organs and other parts of the body and in the process there is relief from the symptoms. 

Disadvantages of chemotherapy

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  • The development of treatment related side effects are the most significant disadvantage of chemotherapy.
  • Side effects include gastrointestinal, musculature or constitutional symptoms.
  • Patients undergoing chemo often  experiencing  symptoms  like  nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea
  • Fever and fatigue are also common side effects experienced by chemotherapy patients.
    The most apparent and emotionally challenging side effect is complete falling of hair.
  • Since cancer cells generally grow and divide faster than normal cells, they are more susceptible to be damaged.
  • Chemo patients may also develop painful mouth sores.
  • Chemotherapy has been proved to be an effective treatment of cancer but there is always a risk of cancer reemerging.
  • The treatment can have an impact on the person’s emotional state.
  • The treatment is time-consuming. It can take hours, days, weeks or even several months
  • In some advanced cases, patients may have to spend the entire course of treatment at the hospital.
  • Sometimes, one course of chemotherapy does not work and another one is needed after sometime…

Though these side effects are significant, the majority of these symptoms disappear once chemotherapy is stopped. There are some side effects which do not become evident until months after the treatment.

These effects may include heart or kidney problems, lung tissue damage or nerve damage. Chemo treatment may also lead to infertility…

Advantages of chemotherapy

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Chemotherapy definitely helps individual suffering cancer. But based on the stage of cancer, the therapy helps in finding out the extent of benefits. In some cases chemotherapy can be the only solution for the patient to live.

Shrinking tumor

Researchers have found out through experiments that chemotherapy helps in wonderful way in shrinking the tumors. Whether you have tumors inside the head, stomach etc, and chemotherapy works in a wonderful way to shrink and make it small.

Slowing growth of cancer cells

Cancer cells have the tendency to grow in a jet fast speed and spread in other portions of the body. But, if the patient takes the chemotherapy on a regular basis, this will help slowing down the growth of such cells. You will be easily able to manage cancer.

Curing cancer

If the cancer is found out at the initial stage, there is a good chance that it can be completely cured with the help of chemotherapy.

Disadvantages of chemotherapy

Side effects

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The treatment through chemotherapy is found to have many side effects. But some group of people faces the side effects whereas other do not. The side effects include vomiting, nausea, constipation, excessive dry skin, excess hair fall etc.

Cost of chemotherapy

The cost of each chemo provided to individuals is not very cheap. Rather, it is not suitable for the pocket of middle class or lower middle class family. If you are going through the certain stages of malignant cells, the cost incurred through chemotherapy will be unbearable.