Chemotherapy Definition: The Basics of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy refers to the chemical binding and killing the tumor cells and microbes. The word chemotherapy was first used by Paul Ehrlich. This type of treatment is mainly used in the matters related to oncology. Oncology is the study related to cancer and chemotherapy is a type of treatment used to treat cancer. Chemotherapy is also sometimes referred as chemo. Patients are advised to discuss chemotherapy definition, the basics of chemotherapy, its related precautions and after care with the oncologist before they start with the treatment.
Usually chemotherapy drugs are given in two ways that is by injecting the drugs into the vein, which is also known as chemotherapy IV, or they are given to the patient by injecting the drug into the muscle also known as chemotherapy IM. In some rare cases oral chemotherapy drugs can also be given to the patients. This is generally done in case of treatment for tongue cancer and other oral cancers or when the cancer is detected in its early stages.
Chemotherapy procedure is very painful and difficult to go through. The people who have to receive intravenous chemotherapy at a regular interval may have to use catheter, which is a flexible and a thin tube whose one end is positioned in the chest’s large veins and its other end is either placed outside the body or is attached to the small device just under the skin. Thus catheter is very helpful in giving the anticancer drugs for the patients who are undergoing outpatient chemotherapy treatment.
Also, chemotherapy is given in cycles of some days or weeks or months. These cycles are always followed by a rest period of around 3-7 days. The patient can be allowed to go home during his / her rest period. This depends on how his / her body responds to the chemotherapy drugs. But, the patient is told to come to the hospital and take the treatment, except when oral drugs are prescribed to the patient. Be it ABVD Chemotherapy regimen or any other chemotherapy regimen, the patient is generally told to stay in the hospital during the treatment.
Before taking the chemotherapy treatment, the patient should ask the doctor about the Chemotherapy side effects that would mainly occur due the several drugs and their doses. When the anticancer drugs are injected inside our body they rapidly divide different cells, such as blood cells, which fight against different infections. In this process, some healthy cells are also destroyed, thus leading to side effects like bruise, bleeding, fatigue, etc.
Besides the above mentioned side effects the chemotherapy drugs may also result in lack of appetite, hair loss, vomiting, nausea and mouth sores. The patients are given medicines that lessen the effect of side effects for the patients. These are generally given before or after the treatment. The patients need to take proper care before, during and after the treatment to avoid complications. Also, one needs to find out about the basics of chemotherapy before he / she starts with the treatment so that there are no complications during the treatment.