What is chemotherapy?
It is the use of drugs to treat any disease. It is used most often to treat cancer.
There are three main goals for chemotherapy in cancer treatment:-
Cure – Used to kill cells in affected area
Control – Used to control the spread of the cancer by shrinking the tumour or preventing it from growing further.
Palliation – Used to ease the symptoms of cancer.
Use of chemotherapy drugs
Use of a single chemotherapy drug when:-
- Tumour is small
- Limited to a specific area
Use of a combination of drugs
- When tumour is large
- When it is widespread
- Has spread to other parts of body
- Cancer cells get immune to single drug
Deciding on the best kind of chemotherapy
The schedule and dosage will depend on:-
- The type of cancer
- What stage it is in
- Other medical issues
- Body’s response
Chemotherapy in combination with other treatment
Chemotherapy is often used in combination with:-
- Gene therapy
- Radiation therapy
How is chemotherapy administered?
There are several ways in which it can be administered.
- Intravenous (through a vein)
- Oral (through the mouth as tablets)
- Intrathecal (through the spine)
- Intra-arterial (through a main artery)
- Intracavitary (through abdomen or chest)
- Intramuscular (through muscle tissue)
- Intralesional (straight into the tumour)
- Intravesical (into the bladder)
- Topical (on the skin)