How Chemotherapy Is Used To Treat Cancer

Chemotherapy Marlton, NJ

Chemotherapy is a common treatment used to treat most types of cancers. The treatment consists of chemicals that destroy fast-growing cells in the body. For many patients, chemotherapy is essential in the successful treatment and recovery of cancer. For others, chemotherapy may stop early spreading before the disease attacks other parts of the body. Read on to learn how oncologists use chemotherapy in people’s cancer treatment plans.

Understanding chemotherapy

Most people have heard of chemotherapy but may need help understanding what it actually is or does. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to destroy cancer cells and keep them from growing, dividing, and making more cells. Cancer cells are generally more potent than a person’s normal body cells, making them grow and spread more rapidly. However, these chemicals enter the bloodstream and have the potential to destroy healthy cells as well.

Chemotherapy is often a treatment provided by a patient’s oncologist. Patients who have just been diagnosed or whose primary care doctor has detected signs of cancer may be referred to an oncologist. However, many patients choose to look for a separate oncologist or chemotherapy specialist, depending on their beliefs, standards, or methods.

How chemotherapy works

Chemotherapy can be administered in various ways, depending on the patient’s condition. This may include:

  • Chemotherapy infusions: Infusions are the most common and are given intravenously or through the veins. The chemicals enter through a needle into the bloodstream in the arm or chest.
  • Chemotherapy pills: Some treatments come in pill or capsule form.
  • Chemotherapy shots: The oncologist can inject chemotherapy with a needle, similar to a normal shot.
  • Chemotherapy creams: Certain skin cancers may be treatable with topical creams or gels containing chemotherapy drugs applied directly to the skin.
  • Chemotherapy for one area of the body: Chemicals are directed to one area of the body, such as the abdomen, chest cavity, central nervous system, or bladder.
  • Chemotherapy is given directly to cancer: Chemicals are administered straight into the tumor.

Chemotherapy is most often used to treat various types of cancer. This treatment is beneficial, even if it does not eliminate a patient’s tumor. Chemo can cure, control, or ease symptoms produced by cancer cells. In some patients, chemo is enough to rid the body of existing cancer cells. While in others, chemo may prevent the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body or mitigate symptoms so they are bearable.

Cancers treated through chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can help treat various cancers, blood disorders, and autoimmune diseases. It is commonly used to treat aggressive and fast-growing cancer cells apparent in leukemia, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and intestinal tract cancer. Upon reaching a certain stage, chemotherapy becomes the most viable option to destroy the cancer cells and prevent spreading.

What to expect before and after chemotherapy

It is a good idea to prepare prior to the first chemotherapy session by asking questions and listening to the oncologist, as they will often try to demystify the unknowns and clarify the myths. We suggest eating well-balanced meals before chemotherapy sessions and stocking up on healthy foods after treatment. Many patients like to bring a bag to their sessions that include a notebook, puzzles, books, or devices to keep them busy.

After each session, patients need to make sure they listen to their bodies. We suggest not working for the first few days to allow the body to rest and recover. Drink and eat as much as the body allows to avoid dehydration. Patients must avoid wearing anything containing chemotherapy fluid (as the body rids itself of the chemicals in the first 48 hours). We will inform the patient of ways to avoid and get rid of soiled items. Lastly, we suggest keeping a journal to document the journey and progress of the treatment. Many patients find that it brings a sense of peace, knowing each session brings them closer to recovery.

Side effects

Side effects of chemotherapy tend to be a major concern for patients. However, side effects vary from patient to patient depending on their current health, the size of cancer cells, the number of cancer cells in the body, and how well their body responds to treatment. Side effects can appear as soon as chemotherapy begins or present themselves weeks or months later.

Schedule a consultation today

At Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center, we offer chemotherapy treatments for patients with various types of cancer. We hope you have found this information beneficial. Our team specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating cancer and helping patients recover. To learn more about chemotherapy and the process or to schedule an appointment, call us today.

To learn more about our services, visit https://lindenbergcancer.com or call our office at (856) 475-0876 to schedule an appointment.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Chemotherapy in Marlton, NJ.

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