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Chemotherapy and Side effects

In simple terms Chemotherapy (or Chemo) means the treatment of a disease using chemicals. Chemotherapy is mainly the use of drugs to treat cancer. Depending upon the type of cancer chemotherapy can cure cancer, or control it, or can ease the symptoms. The drugs used can destroy cancer cells without causing any permanent damage to the normal cells in the body. The damaged cancer cells cannot repair themselves or recover back. Chemotherapy destroys small tumors or shrinks larger tumors.

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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy Treatment

If tumors are removed through surgery, chemotherapy can be used afterward to destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body. As mentioned earlier Chemotherapy can cure cancer, prevent cancer from spreading, slow the cancer’s growth, and relieve symptoms. There are some chemotherapy drugs that harms healthy cells also (mainly cells in mouth, intestine and the cells for hair growth) by affecting the cell division process. Other drugs create negative environment for the cancer cells.

Side effects of Chemotherapy

The side effects of chemotherapy are quite a few and it mainly depends on the type of medication used. Each individual responds differently to the drugs used, but the common physical symptoms experienced by people who undergo chemotherapy include hair loss, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, fatigue, infection, mouth and throat discomfort, and dryness of nails and skin. Your doctor can helps you to relieve most of the symptoms with some simple treatment, medications and exercises. If the symptoms are left without treating, it can lead to some other serious health problems.

Many people who have undergone chemotherapy suffer from emotional problems that include depression and stress. These emotional side effects can be treated by proper counseling and through support groups.

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