Know the Top 20 FAQs Before Doing Chemotherapy

If you have cancer, whether it's stage 1, 2, 3 or 4, and are seriously contemplating chemotherapy in the near future, you are strongly advised to first read this 5-minute article.  

1) Q: What is chemotherapy?

A: According to Merriam-Webster's definition, the meaning of chemotherapy is defined: "The use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease, or mental illness."

2) Q: What does chemotherapy do?

A: Chemotherapy causes serious imbalances in a patient's body and that is why a cancer patient will experience unpleasant side effects.

3) Q: What are all the types of chemotherapy?

A: The five main types of chemotherapy are the following:

  • alkylating agents
  • plant alkaioids
  • anti-tumor antibiotics
  • antimetabolites
  • topoisomerase inhibitors
4) Q: How does chemotherapy work?

A: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It often works by hindering cancer cells from exploding, dividing, and producing more cells.

5) Q: What is the cancer success rate of chemotherapy?

A: Researchers have found that patients without ERCC1 in their tumors had a greater chance for survival--approximately 14 months longer--if opted to undergo chemotherapy. But only 47% of everyone who underwent chemotherapy actually survived five years after treatment.

6) Q: What are the short-term side effects of chemotherapy?

A: Here is the list of short-term side effects:

  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • mouth sores
  • skin & nail problems
  • lack of concentration
  • memory loss
  • hearing changes
  • increased risk of infections (due to weakened immune system)
  • sexual dysfunction
  • skin rash & mucositis
  • cognitive changes
  • vomiting
  • cardiotoxicity
  • hemorrhagic cystitis
  • easy bruising & bleeding
  • anemia
long term side effects:

  • heart damage
  • nerve damage
  • fertility problems

7) Q: What is folfox chemotherapy?

A: Folfox is a combination of chemotherapy drugs in use for treating bowel cancer.

8) Q: What are types of chemotherapy drugs?

A: Here are five types of chemotherapy drugs:

  • anthracyclines
  • 5-fluorouracil
  • cyclophosphamide
  • carboplatin
  • taxanes

9) Q: What is targeted chemotherapy?

A: Agents influence the working of biochemical factor or cellular pathways which are specific to harmful cells. Such drugs disrupt the cancer's ability to flourish in the body.

10) Q: What is the average cost of chemotherapy?

A: Brain cancers cost is most expensive to treat with chemotherapy, costing over $108, 000 at average in the initial year after a diagnosis in female patients, and $115, 000 for male patients, according to the National Cancer Institute. The least costly to treat with chemotherapy is for skin cancer, costing women about $5,000 and men $5, 400 in the first year after being diagnosed.

11) Q: What is chemotherapy resistance?

A: This happens when a cancer that has been reacting to a therapy unexpectedly starts to grow; cancer cells are now resisting the chemotherapy's effects.

12) Q: What is induction chemotherapy?

A: It is usually part of an overall treatment plan.

13) Q: What is intrathecal chemotherapy?

A: Anti-cancer drugs are injected into the fluid-filled cavity between narrow layers of tissue which cover the spinal cord and brain.

14) Q: What is chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy?

A: Certain chemotherapy medications could cause peripheral neuropathy, which is a set of negative symptoms elicited by nerve damage.

15) Q: What is platinum chemotherapy?

A: Platinum-based agents which play an important role as drugs or drug candidates are ideal for chemotherapy.

16) Q: What is ABVD chemotherapy?

A: ABVD has replaced the MOPP protocol as chemotherapy regimen utilized as the initial treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma.

17) Q: What is malignant pleural effusion chemotherapy?

A: This occurs often in sufferers with progressed malignancies, and is usually linked with a reduced life expectancy and might cause substantial morbidity.

18) Q: What is a chemotherapy machine?

A: It's an IV pump that controls the flow of IV.

19) Q: What is chemotherapy desquamation?

A: The risk of desquamation, shedding of the skin's outer layers, increases after each dosage of chemotherapy.

20) Q: What is chemotherapy port?

A: It's a device for drawing blood and giving treatments. The port is put under your skin.

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Is Chemotherapy for You?

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