High Dose Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is treatment option that is very helpful in the treating different type of cancer and most people suffering from cancer tend to select or are recommended to go for the option of chemotherapy. However, the treatment of cancer through chemotherapy is not the same in every type and every stage of cancer. Depending upon the severity the dose of the chemotherapy is determined by the oncologist. High dose chemotherapy is mainly given to the patient in case of recurrence of the cancer cells after the first treatment. For instance if someone suffers from the recurrence of the cancer cells in case of lymphoma, the dose of chemotherapy is increased in order to prevent further production of cancer cells. Even if the high dose of chemotherapy is unable to stop the production of cancer cells completely, it will help in shrinking the nodes of the lymph and allow the patient to live a longer and healthier life.High dose chemotherapy is used in various ways. In some cases the higher dose of chemotherapy is used along with radiotherapy. However, radiotherapy accompanied with high dose of chemotherapy is not always prescribed. Depending on the severity and the type and also on the potentiality of the patient the doctors determine whether his patient should be given the adequate dose. The high dose of chemotherapy involves a very rigorous treatment and the doctors who decide to use this treatment should be very careful so as to control or avert the possible side effects of chemotherapy.
Steps for High Dose Chemotherapy
Before subjecting the patient with high dose chemotherapy the doctors follow certain steps. The oncologist first accumulates the stem cells i.e. the primary cells from which the other cells develop in a healthy body. This process is known as harvesting of the cells. The cells collected are preserved by freezing it till the treatment of high dose starts.
Stem cells harvest is the basic procedure involved in high dose chemotherapy. This process involves subjecting the patient to several injections in order to enhance the growth and reproduction of the stem cells in the blood. These stem cells are further collected through a process which involves removal of the blood from the body with the help of the needle placed in the arm. After this the blood is supplied to the body with the help of the machine known as cell separator. The machine is named so because it further separates the cells from the blood as the remaining blood flows into the body through another needle. On the other hand the stem cells can be collected from the bone marrow. For application of this operation general anesthesia is used.
The high dose chemotherapy treatment is a very long and complicated process. As the patient is subjected to high dose chemotherapy, the bone marrow, where the blood cells are produced, is completely destroyed. In order to bring back the patient to normal condition, the stem cells collected before by the process of cell harvest is now injected to the body of the patient through injection or drip. In this stage, the patient becomes very weak and vulnerable to infection and it is for this reason that they have to stay in the hospital during this treatment.