Chemotherapy is the most widely used treatment method when it comes to treating cancers. It involves usage of drugs and medicines that remove, kill or damage cancerous cells in a specific area, or the whole body. Chemotherapy is rarely used as a monotherapy, and is mostly used in conjunction with other treatment methods like surgery and radiation therapy. Also known as ‘chemo’, a shortened form of the word, the reason chemotherapy is relatively successful in killing cancer cells and is a popular method of cancer treatment is the fact that it involves the use of cytotoxic drugs, meaning they are poisonous to all living cells, interfering with mitosis or cell division, and stopping the growth of cells, eventually killing them.

As to the efficacy of chemo, that depends on the type and stage of cancer it is being used to treat. It is corrective for some cancers like most leukaemias, ineffective against some cancers like those of the brain, and sometimes is not needed at all. Also, the dosage is tricky, too low a dosage might be ineffective against a cancer, and too high a dosage might poison the patient. This is determined using BSA or body surface area, the traditional method of determining chemotherapy dosage. Drugs are mostly delivered intravenously, although some are also orally taken medicines.

The reason chemotherapy instils fears in the hearts of many is because of the possible side effects it has and its aftermath.Side effects depend on the type and location of the cancer, the general health of the patient, and of course the dosage. But there are healthcare teams exactly for that, known as palliative care. But that doesn’t mean they necessarily have to happen. These are the common side effects of chemotherapy:

•Fatigue, multiple drugs in your system lead to this
•Pain, which may include headaches, muscle pain, stomach pain and pain from nerve damage consisting of burning, numbness and shooting pains
•Mouth and throat sores
•Nausea and vomiting
•Blood disorders, like anaemia, as chemotherapy affects blood cells and bone marrow
•Problems in nervous system like tingling and burning sensations, weakness and numbness, soreness and tiredness in muscles, loss of balance, shaking and trembling, stiff neck, problems seeing, hearing and walking normally
•Changes in thought processes and memory
•Sexual or reproductive issues like infertility, sexual dysfunction
•Loss of appetite
•Weight loss
•Hair loss

It is very important for patients to know what they should expect out of this treatment. Chemotherapy is an invasive treatment that leads to permanent mental, emotional and physical scarring. But is better than the alternative, which is death. Chemotherapy gives the patient a chance at survival, and the side effects are a burden that has to be bore after what the patient has been through. There are several groups for cancer survivors that address the issues of the aftermath of chemotherapy. There are cancer hospitals in Gurgaon, cancer hospitals in Patna and most big cities that offers this treatment.

Author's Bio: 

I am Gaurav Gautam, live in New Delhi, India. I am 28 years old. I am pursuing Mass. Comm. I love blogging, writing on health, fitness, lifestyle and Consumer Goods. I am available on Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Above article is about Chemotherapy