EPOCH Chemotherapy

The usefulness of EPOCH chemotherapy

EPOCH chemotherapy is used in the treatment of complicated cancers. This chemotherapy treatment is generally used where the malignancies and the tumors are worsened and get complicated due to the other conditions of health. As the name suggests, in this treatment the drugs are given to the patients by the process of chemotherapy.

The toxic drugs which are included in the EPOCH chemotherapy treatment are Etoposide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone, and cycolophosphamide. The EPOCH chemotherapy very effectively deals with the large tumors by shrinking the size of the tumors. As the size of the tumor shrinks it becomes very easy to remove it with the help of surgery. In some cases the drugs of the EPOCH chemotherapy may also be successful in killing the tumor completely. Depending upon the type of the cell of the cancer, the selection of the drug is determined. The type of drugs also depends on the location on which the cells of the cancer is growing and reproducing at a higher rate.

There are many types of cancer that can initiate their growth at any part of the body and then extend itself to the nodes of the lymph. Epoch ChemotherapyThese types of cancers fall under the group of the large cell lymphoma. This is a very severe type of cancer; it can  destroy and damage the nodes of the lymph. The infection of the cancer becomes so severe that the only way to deal with this is by removing it through surgery. But in this instance also EPOCH chemotherapy can be used for the treatment, if the disease is diagnosed at a very early stage.

However many researchers believe that there are many other alternatives to deal with this type of cancer, than EPOCH chemotherapy, if diagnosed at an early stage. They are of the opinion that doctors should use these alternatives and take a call on their decision as to when to start chemotherapy. They believe in not using the toxic elements when some other alternatives are present. Nevertheless it has been proved the EPOCH chemotherapy has its own significance and it is very effectively deals with this type of cancer.

EPOCH Chemotherapy for Non Hodgkin lymphoma

The EPOCH chemotherapy is used for treating cancers which are complicated in nature. Non–Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is treated using EPOCH chemotherapy. RCHOP chemotherapy for non Hodgkin lymphoma is another regimen that is used for the treatment of non Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Side Effects of EPOCH Chemotherapy

Although EOPCH chemotherapy is considered to be an effective treatment, it has many side effects on the patients. Some of the common side effects include hair loss, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, rashes on the skin, gastrointestinal disorders, hyperglycemia, cardiotoxicity, hypotension, and mouth sores. As neutropenia and chemotherapy are inter-related, this is also a common side effect of chemotherapy.
Neutropenia has an adverse effect on the immune system and completely hampers the functioning of this system in your body. So the body becomes totally weak and patients become very susceptible to infections. Hence, in order to deal with this side effect, it is necessary to manage the side effects through the natural methods which are safer and also helps you to boost up your immune system for its effective functioning.
Your health care provider will guide you as to how to deal with the side effects. Here are some tips to deal with them:

  •     Have a nutritional and healthy diet
  •     Consume plenty of fluids, unless your doctors asks you not to do so
  •     Take plenty of rest and do not exert yourself too much
  •     If you have to go out in the sun, use a good sun block
  •     If you want to exercise, make sure consult a professional
  •     Have your treatment on time
  •     Your doctor might give you some drugs to cope with the side effects. Do take them as prescribed, even if you do not have any side effects.
  •     Ask your health care provider about the medications that should be taken to deal with side effects, like constipation and diarrhea.
  •     Also ask what side effects should be reported to your doctor immediately.

Most of these side effects are quite temporary, and go after the treatment is over. In case you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to ask your health care provider or nurse.
EPOCH chemotherapy has proved quite effective in patients in whom the cancer had relapsed or had become resistant to other drugs. The toxicity of this regimen was also found to be lesser than other drugs or regimens and so is better tolerated by the patients.