Most oncologists in Mumbai use these words to explain chemotherapy to the parents of the child who is detected with cancer -
“Cancerous cells in the body grow abnormally and do not respond to the normal body signals that control growth. In order to effectively destroy the cancerous cells, chemotherapy is administered to the patient. Chemotherapy (normally spoken as chemo) alludes to the solutions, which effectively destroy cancerous cells.”
The doctors say that this explanation always comes with a set of counter questions – What are the side effects? How is chemo given? Is it same for all the patients?
Various advances in the field of medicine have helped oncology specialists to anticipate and lessen the reactions of chemotherapy. However, parents who opt for chemo as a treatment for their children, have a ton of questions with respect to this methodology and its affects. In most of the cases, chemo is customized to the patient's need. Two important factors that are considered to customize the treatment plan are - age of the patient and, type and malignancy of cancer.
Much the same as pharmaceuticals can be taken in different forms; there are numerous approaches to get chemotherapy. Generally, chemo is administered through a vein. The medicine is put in a sterilized bag, and flows directly from the bag into the vein. The medicine enters the bloodstream through veins, and attacks the cancerous cells by travelling throughout the body.
Other forms of chemotherapy can be:
Capsule/Pill - that has to be swallowed with water
Injection - that is administered into muscle, vein or skin
Injection - that is injected using a needle directly into the spinal fluid
In some cases, chemo is combined with other medications and treatments for cancer like radiation therapy and onco-surgery. There are cases in which multiple treatments are given to the child i.e. the use of two or more anti cancer drugs or procedures because it truly lessens the probability of the cancer becoming resistant to one especial emblem of physic while simultaneously improving the chances of the cancer being cured.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy has a few side effects. In most cases, along with destroying and eliminating cancerous cells, chemo also damages healthy and normal cells. This leads to different side effects in different patients - depending on the immunity and age of the child. Some children might suffer from nausea and vomiting, while others might suffer from abnormal hair fall.
Cancer doctors in Mumbai are conducting research to predict the side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, and how long these effects will last. However, the results on the prediction models have not been encouraging.
Albeit the cancer doctors in Mumbai say, "Cancer treatment is multifaceted - there will positive signs and side effects, both. The side effects of chemotherapy are short lived and temporary. With the growth of the child, the body overcomes the side effects - the cells recover and begin to grow normally. The best way to ensure that side effects are limited, parents should approach doctors as soon as they see any sign of side effect."
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