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"Do not be afraid of chemotherapy"

"Do not be afraid of chemotherapy"


Cancer patients start to panic as soon as they have to undergo chemotherapy. The side effects of chemotherapy are stressing them. While this therapy is more than just a friend for cancer patients. So forget its side effects and know something about chemotherapy.


What kind of treatment is chemotherapy? Should you be afraid of chemotherapy or not? What are its side effects? Cancer specialist Dr. Conversation with Arun Shahi:



What is chemotherapy?


Chemotherapy is the most common treatment method for cancer. Chemotherapy is the drug used in the treatment of cancer.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. It works by stopping cancer cells from forming, growing and dividing other cells.


What stage of cancer patients are given chemo?


Cancer patients should be given chemotherapy according to their condition, stage and type of cancer. Some people should be given chemo at zero stage, while some should be given only at the fourth stage. Usually, this therapy is more necessary in the second, third and fourth stages than in the first stage.


Chemo is given to diagnose some cancers, reduce some and prevent some patients from growing. In the first stage of breast cancer, the cancer can be cured by surgery and chemotherapy, there is no need to continue giving chemo. Chemo is not necessary even in the early stages of colon cancer. Apart from these two, in some cancers, chemo may be given in the first stage as well.




Should you be afraid of chemotherapy or not?


We have found that patients are very afraid of the side effects of chemotherapy. But there is no need to be afraid of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is like antibiotics, antivirals. Just like when there is an infection and if there is a viral infection, antiviral is given, if there is a bacterial infection, antibacterial is given. In the same way chemotherapy is given to cancer patients.


Cancer is a hard disease. In this, the cells of the body divide uncontrollably, the process of this division is stopped by chemotherapy. Chemo also kills the bad cells that divide uncontrollably, along with the normal cells that develop every day.


Hair cells develop daily. Chemo kills it causing the hair to fall out. Another thing is that our digestive system cells from the mouth to the anus also develop daily, it also kills them, which causes problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation when eating. Lack of white and red blood. In addition, there are problems such as dryness of menstruation in women and lack of sperm in men. These problems are seen because chemo kills new cells.


There is no way to reduce these side effects?


There weren't many ways to reduce the side effects of the first chemo. But now there are various drugs in the market to avoid the side effects of chemo. If there is a problem of vomiting after chemotherapy, you can take anti-vomiting medicine. If anemia occurs, blood can be given, if white blood is low, medicine to increase white blood can be given. Therefore, there is no need to fear chemotherapy in the present situation.


Previously, if there was a lack of white blood, there was no medicine to increase it. Because of that problem, people would die. But now we have almost all types of side effects available.


All types of medicine have some side effects. This drug is a bit too much but the side effects go away after some time. Currently chemotherapy patients are kept in day care. Chemo comes in the morning and goes. So there is no need to be afraid of chemo.




How long will the side effects of chemo last?


The side effect of bleeding due to chemo only lasts for two to three weeks. The problem of hair loss persists for three to six months after the end of chemotherapy and disappears. The problem of infertility lasts for one to two years after the end of chemo. In some, forgetfulness appears, this also lasts for three weeks to six months and disappears after six months.


Does chemo affect body parts?


Since the drugs given in chemotherapy have various side effects, the physical condition of the patient is seen before giving it. For example, the kidneys, liver and heart are examined. If these organs are not normal during the examination, they are first brought back to normal and only chemo is given.


Chemotherapy is now being used not only for cancer but also for treating kidney disease. So the patient need not panic. Side effects are also decreasing.


What kind of medicine is chemo therapy? How do patients use it?


Many chemo drugs come in bag form. Which is given mixed with saline. But recently, many chemotherapy drugs have also come in the form of tablets.




How often should chemotherapy be given to cancer patients?


So far in my experience patients have been given chemo up to 60 times. Especially in lung cancer, there is an example of giving chemo for a long time. But in general, it may be given from four to a lifetime.


Which cancer is it and what is the condition? Accordingly, the number of chemotherapy may vary. In ovarian cancer, 6 cycles of chemo are enough, in breast cancer, four to eight cycles are given. There may be a decrease in other cancers.


Can chronic patients undergo chemotherapy or not?


Even if a cancer patient has diabetes for a long time, chemotherapy can be done. But before giving chemo, it is seen whether the patient's diabetes is under control. If it is not under control, first the diabetes is brought under control and then chemo is given. Similarly, high blood pressure and thyroid problems can also be brought under control and chemo can be given.


If cancer is diagnosed during pregnancy, do not give chemo for the first three months. But if you have to do chemo within three months, it is advised not to have children. After that, if cancer is diagnosed, what are the pros and cons of keeping that child? Considering the needs of the child, chemo is given even if the child is kept. If there is no condition to keep the baby, chemo may have to be given even after the baby is aborted.

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