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Doctor insights on: Chemo Vs Radiation Which Is Worse

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I feel the rigor of chemo/radiation will be too much because of COPD, HIV not worth feeling worse than already do.

I feel the rigor of chemo/radiation will be too much because of COPD, HIV not worth feeling worse than already do.

A very individual...: ...decision whether to undergo a course of treatment as recommended. I commend you for your personal insight, but would ask that you be completely certain you understand the consequences of refusing/not proceeding, as much as those of moving forward, with therapy. ...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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Are the side effects of radiation therapy usually worse than those of chemotherapy?

Are the side effects of radiation therapy usually worse than those of chemotherapy?

Not generally.: Radiation is a local or regional treatment. Chemotherapy goes all over in the bloodstream. Therefore chemotherapy has a greater chance to affect more things and have more potential side effects. However each patient is different and radiation can be worse than chemotherapy if it causes significant side effect where it is being aimed. This depends then on the actual area being radiated. ...Read more

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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

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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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Wanted to know if children that receive chemo & radiation recover better from it than adults do?

Wanted to know if children that receive chemo & radiation recover better from it than adults do?

CANCER RX: It depends on the kind of cancer if responsive to the therapy, the stage and not the age of the patient. ...Read more

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Doing great thru 5th week of radiation and chemo, tumor has shrunk 30% now all of a sudden he is very very ill and hospitalized. What happened?

Doing great thru 5th week of radiation and chemo, tumor has shrunk 30% now all of a sudden he is very very ill and hospitalized. What happened?

Ask the treating doc: Chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy have side effects which can make a person very sick due to damage to the normal cells. This can lead to low blood counts, sores in the mouth or a serious infection of the blood. Your treating doctor can tell you more as to what is going on and what to expect in future. ...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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Can you tell me about mastectomy without chemo or radiation?

Sometimes an option : Women with smaller breast cancers that have not spread outside the breast can often be treated with mastectomy and no radiation or chemotherapy. Sometimes hormone treatments will help such women after surgery. If a tumor is larger (more that 5 cm), more aggressive (poorly differentiated, triple negative, or her2 positive), or in the skin, muscle or lymph nodes chemo and or XRT might be needed. ...Read more

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How probable is it that chemo and radiation have shrunk a tumor?

High : Depends on which cancer and also what prior therapy you have had. In general works well in shrinking a tumor ...Read more

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Could there be a difference between radiation treatment and chemo?

Yes: Radiation therapy is the focused use of high energy x-rays that only work where we aim them at and have the ability to destroy tumor cells. Treatment is like getting an x-ray. Chemotherapy is medical therapy that is taken either by mouth or through an IV and goes throughout your whole body's bloodstream and affects all organs. It tracks down microscopic cancer cells in blood to kill them. ...Read more

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

Chemotherapy agents: Work by several different mechanisms. Some block cell cycle progression, for example by inhibiting dna synthesis or mitotic spindle function. Others damage dna (eg., by covalent modification or strand breaks) and activate checkpoint controls to prevent those errors from being propagated and instead causing apoptosis. Radiation works similarly. Some, but not all agents work best on dividing cells. ...Read more

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Are the side effects of chemo and radiation permanent, or will they eventually go away?

Are the side effects of chemo and radiation permanent, or will they eventually go away?

Mostly go away: Side effects will usually improve and go away. However minor liveable changes may be permanent. Often patients may say they are not 100% back to normal but close. It depends on many factors and what has been exposed to how much radiation. ...Read more

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Can you tell me about radiation used for in cancer and what is chemo used for in cancer?

Can you tell me about radiation used for in cancer and what is chemo used for in cancer?

Treatments: Chemotherapy is usually an injection or pill that goes through the whole body to hope kill and/or slow down the growth if cancer cells wherever they might be. Radiation is usually a focused treatment given to a particular tumor or region of the body either by a machine that aims one to hundreds of beams at the treat spit or by implanting radioactive pellets near or within the tumor. ...Read more

Dr. Devon Webster
966 doctors shared insights

Chemotherapy (Definition)

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