Many people fear chemotherapy because they have heard that it can have uncomfortable side effects. But side-effect management has come a long way over the last few decades. Today, many side effects once associated with chemotherapy can be prevented or controlled. With some types of chemotherapy, you may experience only minimal side effects. And chemotherapy may be your best option for a successful outcome.
Chemotherapy Side Effects* Low white blood cell count * Low red blood cell count * Low platelet count * Nausea * Vomiting * Hair loss * Fatigue
More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy. For millions of people chemotherapy helps treat their cancer effectively, enabling them to enjoy full, productive lives.
Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill, depending on which drug is used.
Chemotherapy works by destroying cancer cells; unfortunately, it cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and some healthy cells. So chemotherapy eliminates not only the fast-growing cancer cells but also other fast-growing cells in your body, including, hair and blood cells.
Some cancer cells grow slowly while others grow rapidly. As a result, different types of chemotherapy drugs target the growth patterns of specific types of cancer cells. Each drug has a different way of working and is effective at a specific time in the life cycle of the cell it targets. Your doctor will determine the chemotherapy drug that is right for you.
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