Chemotherapy: what is this procedure and how it is

This tells Andrew L. Pylev, Deputy chief physician on medical work of the “European clinic”, a Member of the American society of Oncology and chemioterapico ASCO, member of the Russian society of clinical Oncology, a practicing oncologist surgeon.

– Chemotherapy this treatment for any malignant disease with poisons and toxins, detrimental impact on malignant tumor cells with relatively less adverse impact on the host organism.

The poison or toxin at the same time is a chemotherapeutic agent, or a chemotherapeutic agent. Anticancer drug therapy (chemotherapy) can be preoperative, postoperative, or preventive and curative, that is, on those or other manifestations of the tumor.

The doctor-oncologist selects treatment based on criteria and factors, including: the morphological form of cancer, the prevalence of the disease, patient age, presence of comorbidities, and so on.

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Given that the effect of the drug is aimed at endlessly dividing cells, chemotherapy is cyclical and repeats after a certain number of days – this is due to the cell cycle.

As a rule, the procedure is a drip of the drugs or the pills.

It is well known that every drug, in addition to positive, the expected therapeutic effect, can cause adverse side or toxic effects. And if all drugs except chemotherapeutic expressed side effects – a reason for discontinuation of therapy, the antitumor treatment is always associated with toxic reactions.

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They are expected and are not a cause for discontinuation of treatment. Although some reactions are life-threatening, in some cases when the next course is sufficient to reduce the dose of the drug. This is not to say that toxic reactions have to be.

Cytotoxic drugs kill cells, and are the most active, and it’s not only cancer cells but also cells of the mucous membranes, blood, bone marrow, gonads.

Most often due to chemotherapy occurs alopecia, nausea, vomiting, damage to the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract (stomatitis and diarrhea) and the death of the blood cells.

Pleased to note that hair grow – unlike lost – thick, often wavy and a different color shade. Disappointed does not happen. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully recovered after 2 weeks after chemotherapy.

Nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy is not similar to those for motion sickness. During chemotherapy the drug acts on the sensory receptors of the intestine. In response, the intestinal cells secrete serotonin, a hormonal substance, sometimes called the “happiness hormone”, because its deficiency leads to depression, and excess to the euphoria.

Serotonin stimulates nerve endings, and “anxiety” is transmitted through the nerves to the brain. Any nausea end link, actuating mechanism of vomiting – the vomiting center of the deep structures of the brain. Antiemetic drugs block the receptors sensitive to secreted by the body to serotonin. Due to this nervous excitation is not supplied to the vomiting center, and the patient is not experiencing such discomfort.

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