Chemotherapy is the treatment used to kill or stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs disturb the life cycle of cancer cells and prevent their reproduction. It may be used as single drug or in combination. Chemotherapy treatment may be used before, after or alongside with surgery, biological therapy, radiation therapy and bone marrow transplants.
There are various ways to give medicines such as oral medicines that are given in pill and liquid form to sip and some can be applied directly on the skin as creams, patches and lotions. Others drugs are given as injection that is injected using syringe and needle into the muscles and body cavity or directly into cancerous area.
The gadget like needle, used for medication is usually inserted into a vein in the arm or lower arm when the treatment session begins and can be removed at the end of session. The other gadget is the catheter, which consist of a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a larger vein of chest, spine, arm, abdomen and pelvis.
Catheter is of several types in which some are thread up towards the heart and some with several opportunities. Catheter may be used for long term chemotherapy to minimize the number of needle sticks that patient must need to continue. There is another way or gadget used to treat the cancer that is the port, in which the catheter is attached used to small metal or plastic disc placed under the skin.
Chemotherapy treatment can be given in a patient's home, physician's office, hospital or clinic. It is given as an outpatient or as an inpatient. Sometimes, chemotherapy needs high doses of specific areas that are known as regional chemotherapy. There are some examples of regional chemotherapy such as Intra-arterial (Artery), Intraplural (chest), Intravesical (bladder), Intraperitoneal (abdominal) and Intrathecal (central nervous system).
Chemotherapy treatment depends on the type, stage, current health of patient and the quantity of dose to be given. You can use combination of drugs that help to increase the effectiveness. Chemotherapy may cause some side effects like omitting, nausea, weight loss, hair loss, memory loss, mouth sore etc. These side effects may be temporary or permanent.
We can cure these side effects by using other medicines along with chemotherapy treatment and by using the drugs within strict guidelines. Physicians use calculated quantity of chemotherapy medication for the cancer patient. Doses are measured in milligrams and appropriate level depends on a patient's weight.
Mostly, the quantity of medication during an individual season is determined by using a formula based on patient's body surface area. This quantity is calculated on patient's weight and height.