Doctor insights on:
Drugs for cancer: Various drugs are using alone or in combination to treat cancer. Collectively, they are called chemotherapy and can be used as single agents or in combinations. Many times biologic agents such as antibodies are also grouped in this category because the are used to fight cancer as well. ...Read more
Nothing different th: Chemotherapy is use of drugs to treat cancer. Many of these drugs are quite similar to receiving other drugs like IV antibiotics. Chemotherapy does have some side effects which can be in the form of nausea or vomiting and sometimes hair loss. Blood counts tend to go down 1-2 weeks alter, so they need to be checked to make sure the white cell counts do not go down too low...This can cause infection. ...Read more
It can: Some chemotherapy can damage the stem cells and lead to a secondary cancer. Usually the benefits outweigh the risks. The risk is low, about 1-2%. Can rarely cause other problems as well, such as numbness, rare lung problems, heart problems. This should be discussed with you and your oncologist. Hope this helps ...Read more
Medicines: These are drugs and medications that are given by intravenous, intraarterial, or oral routes in most cases. The drugs are made by companies (pharmaceutical) who manufacture them from chemicals and molecules. ...Read more
One to next: Chemo medicine cause lot of damage normal and malignant tissues. During development of the drug its duration effect on the tissue is studied and a fixed time is determine after which the medicine to be repeated....Risk and benefit issues. The. ...Read more
Some: Transiently many patients will have some trouble focusing; somewhat like when ones eyes are tired. Steroids which are commonly used with chemotherapy drugs can increase cataract formation, which used to be a leading cause of poor vision, but now can almost always be fixed quite easily. ...Read more
While chemotherapy can help reduce the size of a a tumor and improve the interval of survival, it does have toxic activity on the body.
Adriamycin and its analogs have a certain degree of toxicity.
The platinum drugs can cause impairment in renal function.
The taxols (paclitaxel) produce peripheral neuropathy especially in the feet and many cause hair loss, nausea, vomiting and drop in WBC and hct.. ...Read more
Systemic therapy: Chemotherapy is a type of systemic therapy for cancer. Chemo can be given intravenously by IV or some chemo has oral formulations that can be taken by mouth. For certain cancers, like ovarian cancer, chemo can be given via intraperitoneal administration which is done through a surgically implanted catheter that allows passage of fluids into the abdomen of a woman. ...Read more
Killing fast movers: Traditional chemotherapy -- in general -- kills fast growing cells. Cancer cells are fast growing, so it attacks them. But, many other cells of our body are growing and dividing, like hair follicles and the linings from our mouth to our anus. Chemo kills these cells too; this explains hair loss, mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. ...Read more
Yes: Chemotherapy has many potential risks. The potential adverse events and dose limiting toxicities should be discussed the your cancer physician and team. The important concept is understanding the "risk/benefit ratio". That is, what potential benefit is worth the risks? Also, what alternatives are available? ...Read more
Chemotherapeutic agents can and do have significant toxicities and can lead to death. So (1) see a reallly good oncologist and (2) reseach carefully what the outcomes are from the agents being used. This is a highly regulated area of medicine - much knowledge is out there.
The difficulty, at time, s is that the choices between alternate therapies is confusing.
See a good oncologist... ...Read more
Short term help: For most malignancies other than renalcell and breast cancer, when the lesion has metastasized, control works in terms of months and no cure has been noted for solid tumors. Lymphomas are the exception where cure is seen. When a tumor is destroyed by chemo, malignant stem cells replace and regrow the tumor. ...Read more
Yes: This is a great question! chemotherapy can damage your eggs or sperm, so it's vital that you talk about your desire to have children before starting chemotherapy! Men can bank sperm before chemotherapy and women can bank eggs/embryos. Many types of chemotherapy can make you infertile depending on your age, but you can safely have children later if you've planned ahead and stored your "stuff"! ...Read more
You can't: Chemotherapy has risks and side effects like all medicine. You can decrease some risks by eating a healthy diet, getting good sleep, drinking lots of fluids, and staying in good communication with your doctor. Accupuncture, massage and naturopathic care can help. The risk of not getting chemotherapy is higher than the risk associated with chemotherapy if your doctor thinks you need it. ...Read more
There are a few: Chemotherapy has side effects but they can be controlled with counter drugs. Side effects may come in the form of nausea, vomiting, hair loss, low blood counts which can lead to infections. So a close monitoring is required and antidotes to prevent these side effects are used as needed. ...Read more
It depends: For different cancers, there are different treatment/chemotherapy drug chocies available. Before I can address your question you need to tell me her diagnosis and what treatment is she receiving and what has her doctor told you so far? Most times the doctor will answer such questions for you if you ask. ...Read more
Possible: Some chemotherapy such as taxanes and vincristine can cause neuropathy (nerve damage) others such as the vinca alkaloids can cause constipation. Gemzar (gemcitabine) can cause diarrhea. Cisplatin can cause hearing loss and neuropathy and kidney damage. Some of these effects are short and some long term complications. There are many other drugs which are used. Speak with you oncologist regarding more specifics. ...Read more