Doctor insights on:
Is Chemotherapy Radioactive
Radioactivity refers to the particles which are emitted from nuclei as a result of nuclear instability. Because the nucleus experiences the intense conflict between the two strongest forces in nature, it should not be surprising that there are many nuclear isotopes which are unstable and emit some kind of radiation. The most common types of radiation are called alpha, ...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
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
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
It varies/depends on: It depends on your circumstances. Your doctor or nurse will educate you about what they are going to do to you. Just go with an open mind, it should be an educational experience. If they give you chemotherapy during this 'session', you may also be medicated with anti-nausea medication before chemo is given. This can sometimes make you sleepy. ...Read more
Need more details: Tell us more about the diagnosis for which this chemo was prescribed? There are also various drugs included in the acronym of VAC. Please spell out the full names of the chemo drugs included in the VAC advised by your doctor. Who is the patient? ...Read more
Tumor progress: Chemotherapy used in many different ways. It can be used with RT to minimize recurrence after surgery and improve the procedure in a neoadjuvant setting, used post op in an adjuvant setting to reduce recurrence and as a therapeutic in metastatic Ca. While prolonging survival in mets, it has resulted in no cures. Failure to respond to chemo leads to progression and a terminal event. ...Read more
PUVA (Psoralen+UVA): Photochemotherapy/phototherapy generally refers to puva therapy using psoralen (taken by mouth) and then later "tanning" to ultraviolet a light (uv-a) to treat various skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, urticaria, cutaneous t-cell lymphoma and skin manifestations of graft-versus-host disease. The psoralen makes the offending cells in the skin sensitive to damage from ultraviolet a. ...Read more
Chemo can definitely reduce fertility. I discuss fertility with all patients of childbearing age, and offer sperm banking to men, and referral to a fertility expert for egg harvest for women.
Menstruation after chemo is generally a marker for fertility.
Chemo can induce damage to the genes in sperm and eggs, and patients shouldn't conceive during chemo due to risk of birth defects. ...Read more
Chemotherapy is a broad term for a large number of drugs used alone or in combination. Also the doses vary depending upon the disease. The are also variations in individual's susceptibility. There are also a large number of drugs used to combat side effects.
I can only say that it can be anything from very toxic to mild depending on the situation. ...Read more
Varies with each dru: Many of the older drugs, widely used even now, are not too expensive. This includes nearly all of Chemotherapy drugs. The more modern drugs called targeted agents are more expensive, typically costing 6K-10K USD per rmonth. The brand new drugs in the last 5 years have started costing 10K-12K USD/month, which has created a lot of unrest in the medical community as it is no longer affordbable. ...Read more
Good question: But impossible to answer here. Depends on what cancer he has, what chemo he gets, how healthy he is, and many other factors that we do not know. Even so, people react differently to drugs so there is always a degree of uncertainty. You need to go over this with his oncologist before he gets the chemo. ...Read more
Mostly: There are many side effects to chemotherapy and most get better with time. The exact side effects vary with different drugs. Some side effects like hair loss and nausea get better but certain side effects such as nerve damage (with specific drugs) or sterility (with specific drugs and dosages) may be permanent. ...Read more
Many things: Chemotherapy kills cells that rapidly divide. These include hair cells and cells lining your stomach, intestines and mouth, and blood cells. Different chemotherapies have different side effects, but many cause hair loss, diarrhea and indigestion, mouth sores and decreased blood counts. Some cause heart damage, hearing loss, or nerve damage. ...Read more
Many possible: It all depends on what treatment you received and at what age you were treated (adult survivors of childhood cancer are at much increased risk). Late effects can include infertility, a secondary cancer, heart or kidney problems, and diabetes just to name a few. For someone treated when they were. ...Read more
DEPENDS: It all depends on the chemotherapy drug. Each has its own side effect profile and it does not mean that the person who receives it will experience the side effects associated with it. We all hear nausea, vomiting, tiredness and hair loss but again best thing is to talk to your treating oncologist and/or nurse. ...Read more
Tough question!: I am assuming the question is about you, but that may not be the case. I wonder if you are thinking of stopping chemotherapy because of side effects of medications. If so, ask your oncologist - there may be other chemotherapy medications that will work as well and give you less side effects. I always wonder about depression, too. Chemo - and cancer - can be a lot to handle. Get support for this! ...Read more