One of the most well-known therapies associated with cancer care, chemotherapy can very often be an effective cancer treatment. Chemotherapy introduces medications into the body that are used to eliminate cancer cells as well as control the growth and spreading of cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy can also be used to manage the symptoms of cancer.
Depending on their patient’s cancer diagnosis, an oncologist may suggest one or multiple courses of chemotherapy treatment – either alone or in addition to other treatment such as surgery or radiation.
The entire body receives chemotherapy – the medication does not distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells – and there are both negatives and positives to this fact.
As chemotherapy eradicates cancer cells, it also kills healthy cells. This is why cancer patients can become ill and suffer so many side effects from chemotherapy including hair loss. Once treatment is complete, however, healthy cells tend to recover quite quickly and patients begin to feel much better.
On a positive note, because the entire body is treated through chemotherapy, the medication has the opportunity to access any cancer cells that might not have been detected during the primary diagnosis.