How Is Chemo Given ?
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A pediatric oncologist (pronounced: on-kah
-luh-jist), a doctor who treats cancer in children and teens, will work with other health care professionals to decide on the type of chemotherapy treatment that will work best for each individual cancer patient.
There are many different ways that teens are given chemo medications, including:
What Does Chemotherapy Do ?
Depending on your type of cancer and how advanced it is, chemotherapy can:
- Intravenously (IV). A needle is inserted into a vein and the medicine flows from an IV bag or bottle into the bloodstream. Chemo can also be delivered intravenously through a catheter, a thin flexible tube that is placed in a large vein in the body.
- Orally. The person getting treatment swallows a pill, capsule, or liquid form of chemo medication.
- By injection. Using a needle or syringe, the drugs are injected into a muscle or under the skin.
- Intrathecally. A needle is inserted into the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord and the chemo drugs are injected into the spinal fluid.
How Chemotherapy Works ?
- Cure cancer - when chemotherapy destroys cancer cells to the point that your doctor can no longer detect them in your body and they will not grow back.
- Control cancer - when chemotherapy keeps cancer from spreading, slows its growth, or destroys cancer cells that have spread to other parts of your body.
- Ease cancer symptoms (also called palliative care) - when chemotherapy shrinks tumors that are causing pain or pressure.
Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill, depending on which drug is used.
Chemotherapy works by destroying cancer cells; unfortunately, it cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and some healthy cells. So chemotherapy eliminates not only the fast-growing cancer cells but also other fast-growing cells in your body, including, hair and blood cells.
Some cancer cells grow slowly while others grow rapidly. As a result, different types of chemotherapy drugs target the growth patterns of specific types of cancer cells. Each drug has a different way of working and is effective at a specific time in the life cycle of the cell it targets. Your doctor will determine the chemotherapy drug that is right for you. To understand more about the different ways chemotherapy is given, read about how people receive chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy Side Effects
An undesirable consequence of chemotherapy affecting your body—not related to your cancer—is referred to as a complication of treatment, or a side effect.
Some common side effects of Chemotherapy are:
- Low white blood cell count
- Low red blood cell count
- Low platelet count
- Hair loss
Getting Support in India
Chemotherapy can be frightening to think about. If you're one of the many people whose cancer is being treated with chemotherapy, your doctors, nurses, and other members of the cancer treatment team are there to reassure you before, during, and after chemotherapy.
You can also look for support from friends and family. Your friends make you feel good when you're healthy — so surrounding yourself with friends when you're sick is sure to be a pick-me-up. Phone and email are great ways to keep in touch, even if you're having a bad day. If you're afraid that your friends will feel weird or embarrassed, talk to a parent or nurse about some ideas on how to cope.
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