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What Is Chemotherapy?

There are many different types of illnesses we should be aware of in order to prevent them. However, prevention may be too late if the illness is severe. Some illnesses can be treated by regular medicines while others are so serious a different type of treatment is needed such as chemotherapy.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is known to be a method for treating for cancer. However, it can also be used in several types of illnesses such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that kill cancer cells. This can be administered in several ways such as through:

  • Intravenous Fluid
  • Injections
  • Pills
  • Liquid form
  • Topical Cream

Whatever the method is, the purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. This won’t happen overnight as the ultimate objective is to kill the cells, there are three levels of treating cancer:

  • Palliation
  • Control
  • Cure

Palliation

When cancer has already grown malignant, many symptoms start showing. These symptoms are very inconvenient as most of them are painful. One example is infection that causes discomfort and pain. Through palliation, these symptoms such as infections and tumors can be treated separately to provide temporary relief.

This method doesn’t actually eliminate cancer nor weaken it. It focuses on immediate effects of cancer. Any kind of treatment that aims to reduce only the symptoms is called palliative care.

Control

Control is another method of treatment that does not also eliminate cancer. In this method, it may be considered during a particular stage when the cancer starts spreading. The purpose of the control method is to contain and reduce the growth of the illness in order to prevent further symptoms.

Just like diabetes and heart diseases, cancer also has a control stage where patients take some maintenance pills. There are times that the cancer seems to have gone away because there are no more symptoms present. However, it may come back in an instant without any warning. If this happens, a control chemotherapy will be performed again.

Cure

This method of chemotherapy may be obscure as the term “cure” is still theoretical. It means there is still no exact cure for cancer, but this method aims to cure it. It aims to kill and eliminate cancer.

This is possible in some cases especially at a very early stage. There are cases that cancer is cured on this method. However, there is always no guaranty that every cancer can be eliminated this way. This is why this method is called curative intent.

When to Start Chemotherapy?

If you suspect that you have cancer, it is recommended you look for cancer doctor called an oncologist. It is your oncologist who will determine the diagnosis and the proper treatment.

When your oncologist found that you have a cancer, they will then prescribe which combinations of medicine to use in a particular chemotherapy and which method of therapy should be used.

If your cancer is already malignant, your oncologist will ask you to undergo certain surgical operations to remove some tumors. However, if the stage is still early, the curative intent may be applied.

Conclusion

Chemotherapy is still the ultimate method of treatment for cancer. While research on cancers cure is still ongoing, this medical method proves helpful. However, not all patients can undergo this process because it is very expensive. If you have a cancer, it is better to immediately control it before you reach the palliative stage. Nevertheless, prevention is the best method.

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