A very large number of people are suffering from different types of cancer in the world currently. At the same time, many people are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, while another large group has the need for the treatment but do not know why they need it.
Chemotherapy is a medical procedure that is used for treatment or curing certain conditions in the body. It can be specifically defined as a form of drug therapy whose goal is to destroy excessively growing cells in your body. It is mostly used to treat cancer.
Cancer cells are known to develop and multiple rapidly in the human body. As a result of this, they lead to fatal effects within a very short time. These cells thus require a treatment measure to either control them or kill them completely.
However, many people just hear about chemotherapy but do not really understand what the procedure is or its benefits. Before you think of undergoing chemotherapy you should consider a number of factors surrounding the whole process. This may include the preparation, the process itself, and, most of all, why you need the procedure.
Here are some of the reasons why you need chemotherapy.
1. To Cure or Achieve Remission
Chemotherapy is a treatment procedure that is used for cancer. Cancer is known to be a serious condition that can be difficult to treat completely. However, chemotherapy is used in reducing the signs and symptoms.
There are many instances where you will need chemotherapy to just cure the signs and symptoms of cancer and it is well known as curative chemotherapy. This is also performed with other treatments such as radiotherapy and surgery in some cases.
2. To Control Cancer
Chemotherapy can be used to control growth and spread of cancer to other parts of your body. In some cases, cancer cells are known to break away from their place of origin. Once they break away they will mostly travel through your lymphatic system or blood to other parts of your body. Once they have spread they settle in some parts of the body to form new tumors. This leads to secondary cancers or metastases.
To control this type of condition, you will need chemotherapy. The drugs used in chemotherapy will circulate in your bloodstream to treat the cancerous cells, hence preventing further spread.
It is also worth noting that chemotherapy drugs depend on the part of your body where the cancer started, also known as the type of cancer. Different chemotherapy drugs function differently for different types of cancer.
Cancer is also controlled depending on the stages.
These may include:
- early-stage diseases, the earliest stages of cancer. It is much easier to control and even destroy some cancer cells through chemotherapy.
- metastatic/advanced stage disease. This is a more complex stage. However, the cancer cells can still be controledl but the treatment procedure is more complex.
3. To Relieve Symptoms
This is done to relieve the pain caused by the symptoms of cancer in your body. If the signs and symptoms cannot be cured completely, then it is equally important to reduce the effects caused by other symptoms, such as tumors. It helps to shrink the tumor, which is the main cause of pain for cancer patients. This is also works by improving the quality of life. It is also known as palliative chemotherapy.
4. As Part Of Other Treatments
There are a number of treatments that may require chemotherapy. In such cases, chemotherapy may be performed after the treatment or before the treatment. If it is done before the treatment then it is referred to as neoadjuvant therapy. This is meant to reduce the number of cancer cells before the treatment is done.
If chemotherapy is done after the treatment then is well known as adjuvant therapy. The main reason for carrying out the procedure after certain types of treatments is to kill or destroy the remaining cancer cells.
5. To Stop Recurrence Of Cancer
If you have had a previous case of cancer then you definitely need chemotherapy. In most cases cancer is known to be recurring even after you have undergone remission. Due to this, there is a need to keep the cells and the effect suppressed to prevent recurrence. After the first round of chemotherapy, you will require the process for months or even years to prevent new cases of cancer.
This process is very important since it keeps you healthy for a very long time without suffering from any cancer related effects even though you had a previous cancer-related illness. It is also known as maintenance chemotherapy.
Other Reasons Why You May Need Chemotherapy
Apart from curing, healing, or reducing the spread of cancer, you may require chemotherapy for other important health concerns. These may include preparation for bone marrow treatment. It is mostly stem cell treatment. For people with diseases of the bone marrow, then you need chemotherapy to prepare you for the treatment.
You may also need chemotherapy if you have disorders of the immune system. These are complications that mostly alter the functioning of the immune system. In most cases, your body's immune system starts attacking healthy cells in the body. To help in treating this type of condition, drugs with lower effects than those used for cancer treatment can be used.
The Bottom Line
Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that has become popular over the last few years. This is because of the type of results people are getting from the treatment procedure. Many people struggling with cancer are undergoing chemotherapy. Breast cancer is now the most common cancer that is being treated through chemotherapy.
However, there are a number of things to know about the procedure. It works differently for different types of cancer. Nevertheless, the doctor should recommend the best treatment depending with your condition. You are also supposed to go through the possible results before you undergo the treatment. Know why you are taking the treatment and the outcomes attached. This will help you benefit fully from the procedure.