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Doctor insights on: Chemo Vs Radiation

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What are chemo and radiation like? Are they painful?

What are chemo and radiation like? Are they painful?

NOT Painful: This is a common misconception among lay people. Chemo is use of drugs. Taking any drug should not be painful. of course if it is an iv injection, there is some short lived discomfort. radiation is use of Rays, they are painless. So try to understand these things than just believing hearsay. ...Read more

Gamma Rays (Definition)

This is light of extremely short wavelengths typically produced either among the stars / in cosmic rays or by radioactive element decay. Gamma rays form the background of normal radiation in which we all live; it is substantially greater than the exposure we get from imaging scans or should get from ...Read more


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Had chemo and radiation improved over the last 20 years and how so?

Had chemo and radiation improved over the last 20 years and how so?

Yes: Radiation has been developed to give more specific sites of therapy without a penumbra affecting surrounding normal tissue. As such we see use of gamma knife and cyberknife treatment giving high doses in a short period of time to a very localized area. The chemo has added new drugs working thru other mechanisms other than effecting nuclear dna such as the taxanes, gemcitabine and the platinums. ...Read more

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My grandma is taking chemo and radiation, what's the best foods for her to eat?

My grandma is taking chemo and radiation, what's the best foods for her to eat?

Diet: Well balanced food, well cooked and not raw. Try to cut down carbohydrates and red meat especially processed red meat. No alcohol and no cigarette. When taking chemo-many time appetite is affected and decreased. Try to encourage your grandma to still eat her meals. If nauseous, hot food or very cold food may help better than food in room temperature. Best of luck for your grandma. ...Read more

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Is there a special diet I should be following if i’m getting chemo and radiation?

Is there a special diet I should be following if i’m getting chemo and radiation?

Possibly: One example may be if the treatments cause diarrhea we suggest a low fiber diet and have it in written format that lists what to eat and avoid to help control the diarrhea. If we do suggest a diet however its after a symptom develops and the diet is recommended. Higher protein and calories may be needed if the patient is fatigued or losing weight. We guide the patient as needed. ...Read more

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Could children that receive chemo & radiation recover better from it than adults?

Could children that receive chemo & radiation recover better from it than adults?

Yes: In general, younger patients recover better than older patients. However, long term side effects can be more extensive in children as many processes are still occurring such as neurological development and physical growth and maturation. Side effects are very specific to the type of chemotherapy and location of radiation treatment. ...Read more

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Realistically speaking, how much pain is someone in when radiation/chemo is needed?

It varies: Pain may not be present at all for chemotherapy and/or radiation to be needed. Some people with cancer may be in severe pain and chemotherapy and/or radiation may be used to alleviate pain. ...Read more

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When i'm on the cellular level, how does radiation and chemo work?

When i'm on the cellular level, how does radiation and chemo work?

Very complex issues!: There are tons of articles written on this subject. But basically they damage the dna of rapidly dividing cells which leads to cell death. Cancer cells are more sensitive to the dna damaging effects of chemo and radiotherapy in comparison to normal cells of our bodies. As a result more cancer cells die from such treatments than normal cells. ...Read more

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Can people survive because chemo and or radiation or in spite of it/them?

Can people survive because chemo and or radiation or in spite of it/them?

Do not be mislead: Chemo and radiotherapy both have an established track record of controlling many cancers. When these two are used properly along with surgery 2/3 cancers can be cured today. That wa snot the case 30-40 years back when surgery alone was used with success in controlling less than 30-40% of cancers. This has all happened because of progress in developments in chemotherapy , mostly. ...Read more

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Dr. Devon Webster
945 doctors shared insights

Chemotherapy (Definition)

The term chemotherapy typically is used to describe using chemicals to treat ...Read more