All about chemotherapy in a nutshell


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With chemotherapy drugs you can go on to cure any type of disease. But in the eyes of most people it would mean drugs for cancer treatment. The short form of it goes by the name of chemo. With radiation therapy or surgery you go on to remove cancer cells in specific regions. The best part about chemo is that it works magic around the entire body. It means that chemo could kill cancer cells that have gone on to spread to other areas of the body that have gone away from the original site. Chemotherapy cost in India works out to be one of the lowest in the world and for this reason the country witnesses a steady flow of patients from all over the globe.

The goals in relation to chemotherapy treatment

If your doctor is of the opinion that you need to have chemotherapy, then it is important to have an idea about the treatment before you take decisions. The course of treatment can be spread across three major areas


It would seem possible that chemotherapy can go on to cure cancer. It means that the cancer is destroyed with the possibility of it coming back standing remote. The word cure cannot be used in terms of a devise of retention. So when a doctor goes on to administer chemotherapy it is provided with a curative intent. No sure shot formula exists that cure does strive to be the final goal. It does take a considerable amount of time to figure out whether the cancer of the person has gone on to cure completely.


If you cannot cure the disease then control might seem to be the other option. With chemotherapy you shrink tumours and at the same time prevent the cancer from growing or spreading. In a way it helps a person to feel better and they go on to live for a longer period of time.

In some situations the cancer is not going to fade away. You can control and manage it in the form of a chronic disease pretty much on the lines of diabetes or a heart disease. In other cases the cancer would have gone, only to return after a certain point of time. Then you might have to give chemo all over again.


With chemo you can also ease the symptoms that are caused by cancer. This goes by the name of palliation. If you figure out that the cancer is at an advanced stage and has spread from the original area to the other areas of the body, then the goal has to be to make the person feel better and improve the quality of their life. For example you might shrink a tumour that is causing a lot of pain or a certain degree of pressure.

Any treatment that aims to reduce pain along with pressure is referred to as palliative treatment. The pain medications or anti-nausea treatments are prime examples of palliative forms of treatment. It is indeed confusing on when to use chemo as a palliative course of treatment as the precise aim would be to cure or control of the disease. But if comfort is at the back of your mind it becomes palliative treatment.

Planning for the treatment of chemotherapy

The patient along with an oncologist will determine on what are the types of cancer drugs that you need. The doctor is going to control the doses, in what amounts it has to be given to the patient. The duration of treatment has to be clearly illustrated by them. Though all these decisions depend upon the stage and the type of cancer you are suffering from. In addition the age along with the health of the patient is a telling factor

You can treat the cancer with a single drug or a combination of various drugs can be put to use. It has to be understood that different drugs are going to work in varied ways in order to kill the cancer cells. It also lowers down the chance that the cancer drug could become resistant to any type of chemo drug. In certain scenarios chemotherapy would be the only treatment that you would need. It can be used in combination with radiation or surgery. There are reasons for this

  • With chemo you might go on to shrink a tumour before surgery or radiation.
  • It can be used after radiation or surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  • If the cancer comes back you can use it with other courses of treatment.

Figuring out which are the chemotherapy drugs that you might have to use

In most cases the best doses and choice of chemo drugs are clear in nature. Most of the doctors give their nod of approval to the same type of treatment. There are less known ways by which chemo drugs can be used in curing people with certain types of cancer. What happens in such cases is that doctors would choose different combinations with various drug sources. There are factors to consider in the choice of drugs that normally include

  • The type along with the stage of the cancer
  • The age along with the overall health status of the patient
  • If the patient has any serious problems like heart or kidney disease
  • Whether any form of cancer treatment has been given in the past

The doctors go on to take all these factors into account in deciding the course of treatment

Figuring out the doses of chemotherapy

In most cases one thing is for sure that chemo are very strong drugs. In terms of effectiveness and safety they have a narrow range. If you consume too less a drug it would not go on to cure cancer well. On the other side of the coin consumption of too much of it would lead to fatal situations. Because of this reason the doctor administer chemo doses in a concise manner as the life of a patient is involved here.

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