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Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment designed to kill cancer, which are abnormal cells that grow rapidly and divide faster than other cells in body. The procedure is usually used in combination with other treatments such as surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy. Combination therapy is used depending on: 

  • Patient’s overall health
  • Previous cancer treatments one has ever had
  • Patient’s personal treatment preferences
  • The stage and type of cancer one has
  • The location of the cancer cells

The Need for Chemotherapy

  • To reduce current symptoms
  • To shrink the tumor
  • To reduce the likelihood of cancer spreading or returning 
  • To lower the total number of cancer cells in the patient’s body 
  • To prepare individuals with bone marrow cell treatment, and it may be used for immune system disorders 

Preparation for Chemotherapy 

Since chemotherapy can have side effects, it is important for one to plan ahead before beginning the treatment. The doctor will always help the patient anticipate the potential problems associated with treatment. 

One will have to undergo a series of tests before the procedure to determine if he/she is healthy enough for it. The tests may include examinations of the heart and blood tests to determine the health of the liver. The tests are also meant to guide the doctor in deciding which types of chemotherapy to use in the patient’s treatment. 

Additionally, before starting chemotherapy, the doctor could advise scheduling an appointment with the dentist. Chemotherapy interferes with the body’s natural ability to heal, so any gum or tooth infection runs the risk of spreading to the rest of the body. 

How Chemotherapy Works 

The doctor and the patient often work together to consider all variables and determine the suitable course of treatment. 

Typically, chemotherapy is administered intravenously (via an injection into a vein) or orally. Chemotherapy can be given in a variety of ways in addition to these two kinds. 

Options for administering chemotherapy include the following: 

  • Depending on where the tumor is, chemotherapy can be administered straight into the tumor, and the doctor may implant slow-dissolving disks that gradually release drugs if the patient has surgery to remove the tumor.
  • Some skin cancers are often treated with chemotherapy creams.
  • Chemotherapy can be administered locally to a particular area of the body, such as the abdomen, chest, or bladder through the urethra.
  • Chemotherapy intravenous infusions using an implantable port
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