What is chemotherapy?
Cancer is a group of diseases that occurs due to uncontrolled growth of cells in our organs and tissues.1
Chemotherapy is the treatment method that applied with anti-cancer drugs for stopping growth and increase of the cancer cells.
The ways of application of these anti-cancer drugs include oral administration (pills, solutions), intravascular application (drugs are given in fluids, or directly into the vessel), injection (intramuscular, subcutaneous, or directly into the tumor mass), and external administration onto the skin. Chemotherapy can be given solely, or with other therapies. It can be administered before or after surgery, before or during or after radiotherapy, or before the bone marrow transplantation.2
Goal of the chemotherapy is varied according to cancer type, but these are generally:
⦁ Increasing the quality of life of the patient
⦁ Curing patient
⦁ Controlling the disease
⦁ Supporting treatment before surgery and radiotherapy, and preventing recurrence after surgery and radiotherapy.3
Where chemotherapy is administered?
Chemotherapy is administered at home, hospital, or private centers. Doctor determines the route and site of administration according to patient’s status.4
What are the side effects and causes of chemotherapy?
Side effects and their duration varies from person to person, type and intensity of the drug, and many patients continue their life with treatment without any problem.
Chemotherapy drugs affect some healthy cells, when they eliminate cancer cells. Also, many of these healthy cells heal rapidly, and side effects are deteriorated.5
What are the factors to consider during chemotherapy treatment?
Daily life of many patients taking chemotherapy continues without affecting much, but there are some points to take care of:
⦁ Before treatment, all recommendations of the doctor should be listened and applied carefully
⦁ In cases of nausea and appetite loss, small and frequent meals should be eaten
⦁ Close contact with other humans and animals should be avoided for preventing from infection
⦁ Hand, mouth and body cleaning should be regularly applied
⦁ Nails should not be clipped deeply, and skin should not be injured during shaving
⦁ Patient should not smoke, and should stay away from smoking areas
⦁ Should not enter unclean, unventilated, dusty places, and crowded places like malls and mass transportation
⦁ Patient’s fever should be checked by using a thermometer, and should be administered to a healthcare facility if it increases
⦁ Raw fruits and vegetables should be consumed after washing and peeling
⦁ Plenty of fluids should be taken if doctor approves
⦁ If any cancer related or unrelated treatment is necessary, doctor should be notified
⦁ Follow-up visits should regularly continue, and doctor should be notified in case of an adverse event.6