Chemotherapy: Uses and side effects
Chemotherapy is a method of treating diseases by using chemically produced drugs. It is an old method (since 1950) and its main goal is to stop the multiplication of cancerous cells and thus stop the disease. This is a very potent treatment, which explains its side effects.
Chemotherapy in Turkey and Istanbul: in which cases?
Chemotherapy is always scary and generally linked by the treatment of different types of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, and so on. This drug may be suggested for the treatment of diseases in early stages or more advanced stages.
This treatment is not suggested, it is a systematic procedure. But before deciding it, the doctor takes into consideration several factors such as the patient's experience, the surgical antecedents, and so on.
During the first few treatment sessions, hospitalization is mandatory to monitor the patient's condition.
When is Chemotherapy needed?
The doctor usually offers chemotherapy in Turkey and Istanbul in three situations:
Prior to surgery: this is neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This chemotherapy aims to decrease the size of the tumor and thus facilitate the operation. It also aims to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer. In addition, it makes it possible to quickly assess whether chemotherapy drugs are effective on the tumor or not.
After complete tumour surgery, that is, when the surgeon has removed all visible cancer cells. Chemotherapy intends to reduce the risk of local or remote recurrence. As a result, chemotherapy then completes surgery.
Metastases treatment: it can be employed to destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy is sometimes used as the only treatment. When it is associated with radiotherapy, this is called radiochemotherapy.
What are the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?
The side effects of chemotherapy vary according to the chemicals used, the person, and the dosage.
- Hair loss : Also called alopecia, it is a remarkable effect that impacts hair, eyelashes and eyebrows temporarily. The fall usually starts 2 or 3 weeks after start of treatment and regrowth of hair begin after 6 to 8 weeks after the last infusion.
- Drops in red, white and platelet count: After 2 to 3 weeks of the first infusion, a significant decrease in the number of red blood cells (anemia) which causes continuous fatigue. A remarkable decrease in white blood cells (leukopenia) which leads to an increased risk of infection, as well as a decrease in platelets (thrombocytopenia) which can be the cause of hemostomies and bleeding.
- Mouth leakage: During chemotherapy, the mucous membranes become more sensitive and fragile.
- Skin disorders: There are chemicals that cause redness, deep skin, and tightness.
Chemotherapy may be used alone or in conjunction with other drugs such as surgery or radiotherapy, but its side effects are unavoidable.
Last update : 28/01/2020