Chemotherapy Myths And Facts You Need To Know
Chemotherapy is a form of cancer therapy that produces a systemic effect by attacking the cancer cells. Since cancer cells undergo rapid growth and development, chemotherapy medications work by interfering with the cell cycle.
Myth 1: Chemotherapy makes you feel grumpy and sick
Fact: Nausea and vomiting are the common side effects of chemotherapy, but it can be defended easily because to prevent the incidence of nausea, doctors are prescribing pre-medications before starting the chemotherapy
Myth 2: Chemotherapy is all about hair fall:
Fact: Losing hair and thinning hair are reversible after chemotherapy. Alopecia is the term for hair fall, it has been put forward that not all chemotherapy patients will experience hair fall. It depends on the type of chemo medication and its combination used for treating a particular cancer type. These drugs may affect the cells present in hair follicles. However, to prevent hair fall it is better to discuss with your doctor the scalp cooling technique.
Myth 3: Chemotherapy makes you infertile
Fact: Certain Chemotherapy medications can impose fertility issues in both men and women. Although fertility issues are common with the recent advancements in science there are procedures and techniques to prevent fertility issues. If you are of reproductive age it is advised to check out an ovarian freezing technique to preserve your eggs for fertilization in the future. Discuss with your doctor about the effective contraceptives and continue them regularly for a specific interval after the completion of cancer treatment.
Myth 4: Chemotherapy is an obsolete therapy
Fact: Despite a lot of innovations in cancer medicine, chemotherapy is still considered a dynamic treatment as it aims to destroy the fast-growing cancer cells directly and shrink the tumor size. Since all the latest therapies are under clinical investigation, doctors rely upon chemotherapy as it has gotten approval for its use in treating almost various types of cancers.
Myth 5: Chemotherapy is only available as injectables:
Fact: With the advancements in cancer medicine, Chemotherapy is now formulated in various dosage forms. Chemo medication can be administered via various routes other than the intravenous route such as in pill forms, capsules, topical creams, and ointments. The topical route of chemotherapy is widely used in treating skin cancers.
Myth 6: Chemotherapy is the only treatment for cancer
Fact: Chemotherapy is not the only available treatment for curing cancer. Cancer therapy involves multidisciplinary treatment and there is no standalone treatment for cancer. The oncologist will craft the treatment plan based on the patient demographics, type, and grade of cancer
Myth7: Chemotherapy always requires hospitalization
Fact: Chemotherapy can also be given at chemo daycare center and clinic or outpatient department that just has no hospital admission. In some cases, chemotherapy can be done at home itself because most of the chemo medications are now available in other dosage forms such as oral tablets and pills.
Myth 8: The goal of chemotherapy is only to reduce the tumor size
Fact: Although chemotherapy works to reduce the tumor size, in advanced-stage cancer, chemotherapy can also alleviate the signs and symptoms.