Cancer is a tough diagnosis, but chemotherapy can be an effective treatment. If you need to know how chemotherapy works, its effectiveness or signs chemo is working. Then, you must go through this article!
Let’s have a look at everything about chemotherapy, especially how it helps fight cancer.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. The drugs are usually given intravenously (through a vein), but can also be taken orally. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy.
It may be given with a curative intent (which almost always involves combinations of drugs), or it may aim to prolong life or to palliate symptoms. Chemotherapy is one of the main categories of the medical discipline specifically dedicated to the pharmacotherapy of cancer, which takes the name of medical oncology.
How Chemotherapy Works Against Cancer?
How chemotherapy works is still not fully understood, but we do know that it works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells. This damage prevents the cancer cells from growing and dividing, which eventually leads to their death. While chemotherapy can be effective at killing cancer cells, it also damages healthy cells in the process. This can cause side effects like hair loss, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
Chemotherapy can be given by mouth, intravenously (through a vein), or topically (applied to the skin). The drugs used in chemotherapy are called cytotoxic agents. Cytotoxic literally means cell-killing. These drugs work by damaging the DNA of cancer cells and preventing them from growing and dividing.
Cancer patients often have to undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy before they see any results. The side effects can be very difficult to deal with, but the treatment is often worth it in the end. Chemotherapy has helped countless people beat cancer and go on to live long and healthy lives.
How Effective is Chemotherapy?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the type and stage of cancer being treated, the overall health of the patient, and the specific chemotherapy regimen being used. In general, however, chemotherapy is considered to be a very effective treatment for cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, chemotherapy can be used to cure cancer, shrink tumors before surgery, or relieve symptoms caused by cancer. There are a number of different types of chemotherapy drugs available, and each one works in a unique way to kill cancer cells or stop their growth.
Overall, chemotherapy is a very effective treatment option for cancer, with cure rates ranging from 60-90% depending on the type of cancer being treated. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, be sure to talk to your cancer specialist through Marham about all of your treatment options, including chemotherapy.
How Long Does Chemo Take to Shrink a Tumor?
The short answer is that chemotherapy usually starts to shrink tumors within the first two cycles of treatment However, it can take up to six cycles for the full effects of chemotherapy to be seen.
Tumor response rates vary depending on the type of cancer being treated. For example, chemotherapy is very effective at shrinking leukemia cells, but less so for ovarian cancer cells.
In general, smaller tumors tend to respond more quickly to chemotherapy than larger ones. This is because there are a greater number of actively dividing cells in a small tumor than in a large one. When these cells are killed by chemotherapy, the tumor shrinks rapidly.
It’s also worth noting that some tumors may not respond to chemotherapy at all. In these cases, other treatment options, such as surgery or radiation therapy, may be recommended.
If you’re starting chemotherapy, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what to expect in terms of timing and tumor response. With this information in hand, you’ll be better prepared for the journey ahead.
What are the Signs Chemo is Working?
Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer, but it’s also tough on your body. The good news is that there are signs that chemotherapy is working.
Improved Blood Count
The first sign that chemo is working is an improvement in your blood counts. Cancer cells grow quickly and divide more often than normal cells, which can cause low blood counts. Chemotherapy helps to kill the cancer cells, which then leads to an increase in blood counts.
Weight Gain or Loss
Another sign that chemotherapy is effective is weight loss or gain. Cancer cells use a lot of energy, so when they start to die off, you may see a decrease in weight. On the other hand, some chemotherapy drugs can cause you to gain weight.
Improved Energy Levels
Finally, you may also notice an improvement in your energy levels and how you feel overall. Cancer and chemotherapy can both be exhausting, so feeling more energetic is a good sign that the treatment is working.
These are just a few of the signs that chemo is working. If you’re undergoing treatment, pay attention to how you feel and look for any changes. And remember, if you have any concerns, you can find the best Doctors for cancer on Marham Pakistan’s Best Healthcare app.
Consulting a Doctor for Chemotherapy
The decision of whether or not to pursue chemotherapy can be a difficult one. There are a lot of factors to consider, including the type and stage of cancer, the side effects of treatment, and overall prognosis.
Talking to your doctor about all of your options is the best way to make an informed decision about which treatment path is right for you. If you have any questions about how long it takes for chemotherapy to shrink a tumor, be sure to ask. Together, you and your doctor can come up with a treatment plan that’s best suited to your individual needs.
You can book an online appointment or video consultation with the best oncologist in Faisalabad through Marham at affordable rates!