Chemotherapy: 6 Points to Understanding The Treatment & How It Works 

Chemotherapy can be used as a treatment for cancer because of how it interacts with the body. 

It uses drugs to destroy cancer cells and prevent cancer from dividing and spreading in the body. These powerful chemicals are designed to kill fast-growing cells and stop growing ever again. 

Its effects on dividing cells

Chemotherapy has a range of different effects on dividing cells inside the body. Its main goal is to damage the cells as they divide. It does this by damaging the genes in the nucleus inside of cells, stopping them from dividing and copying the genes. Different chemotherapy drugs work at different points of division. Some aim to stop cells from dividing at the initial point of division. 

Others wait until cells begin to make copies and replicate before they move in to damage the cell and stop it from dividing. This is why starting chemotherapy can be hard for someone to do and grasp the concept of. It’s a beneficial treatment that can destroy cancer forever. 

You don’t need to worry about any of this affecting the rest of your normal cells because chemotherapy drugs are much less likely to affect cells that are at rest, which are your normal cells. 

Chemotherapy’s effectiveness

The chances of chemotherapy working on your specific type of cancer depend on what cancer it is. For some cancers, chemotherapy will completely eradicate it. For others, it doesn’t work as well to get the job done. Testicular cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma are two cancers that chemotherapy works very effectively against. 

Even if chemotherapy isn’t effective against the type of cancer you have, your doctor might still suggest it in an attempt to shrink cancer and relieve symptoms. Doing this can prolong your life by putting cancer into remission or controlling it. 

Side effects

While chemotherapy is an effective treatment, there are side effects that come along with it, just like any other drug. Some of the most common side effects involve affecting cells in your hair, bone marrow, and skin. Since these cells are always growing, moving, and active, they can be affected by chemotherapy drugs. 

You don’t need to feel down about this because there is an upside. These cells will replenish themselves after the chemotherapy drugs destroy them because they are normal, healthy cells. They will grow back, but the harmful cells will not. 

How you get chemotherapy

There are a few different ways that you can receive chemotherapy drugs. It can be through an injection, an IV drip, capsules, or tablets. These are the methods used so that the chemotherapy drug can circulate entirely around your body in your bloodstream. It’s known as systemic treatment because it can reach all of the cells in your body. 

How do you help the chemotherapy?

You can help the chemotherapy drugs battle cancer cells in your body by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercising as much as possible and eating healthy foods like fruit and vegetables. Doing this will provide an extra boost to your body’s immune system. You should also avoid doing things like smoking or drinking because they weaken your body’s immune response and make it harder to fight against cancer. 

Chemotherapy’s impact on tumors

Chemotherapy can prevent tumours from getting any larger or growing. By attacking the cancer cells that grow into new tumours, it stops new tumours from forming in the body. Chemotherapy also prevents tumours from growing blood vessels. Blood vessels are what help tumours thrive and continue to grow larger.

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