Conventional Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves delivering a drug to kill cancer cells. These drugs interfere with cell division and do not allow cancer cells to divide. Chemotherapy may be used alone or with surgery or radiation therapy to improve overall clinical outcomes. Chemotherapy shrinks the tumor when used before the surgery and kills the remaining cancer cells when used after the surgery.

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  • Preparing for Chemotherapy: Patients should follow the instructions of the oncologists about preparation for chemotherapy. It will help in improving treatment efficacy and minimize side effects. A catheter is attached to the large vein if the chemotherapy drug is administered intravenously. Patients are recommended to undergo blood tests and dental examinations. Methods to manage the side effects should be planned before chemotherapy. For instance, chemotherapy may cause infertility in some patients. In such cases, the patients may consider preserving eggs or sperm.
  • Delivering Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is delivered orally or through injection. Oral chemotherapy can be taken at home, and patients visit the hospital to monitor the efficacy of therapy. Chemotherapy via injection is done at the hospital, and the drug is delivered intravenously through the catheter.
  • Managing Side Effects of Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may result in several side effects, some of which are difficult to manage. Fortunately, most of the side effects of chemotherapy are known, and proper planning can be done to manage those side effects. Patients should discuss the options to minimize the side effects through appropriate treatment and care. Patients should accordingly make arrangements at home.
  • Site-specific Cancer Treatment: Apart from the systemic therapy that involves carrying the chemotherapy drug throughout the body via the blood, advanced chemotherapy options allow the oncologists to deliver the drugs where needed. For instance, intrathecal chemotherapy is administered for treating brain and spinal cord cancers, and intraperitoneal chemotherapy is delivered for abdominal cancer. In addition, lung cancer may be effectively treated through intrapleural chemotherapy. The wafers containing the chemotherapy drugs are also placed near the tumor. The drugs are continuously released from the wafer and kill cancer cells. In some cases, the drugs are injected into the arteries or veins directly connected to the tumor.