Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is usually termed as a short form of word Chemical Therapy. Chemotherapy, by name itself, leads us to understand that it is a therapy or a treatment procedure, to any disease, which is performed by usage of chemicals or some drugs. However, in recent times, Chemotherapy is used mostly as one of rare treatments of dangerous and life-threatening disease cancer. It is mostly recommended for patients of Mesothelioma either before or after surgery or, with another procedure called Radiation. When used with radiation, Chemotherapy has shown significantly positive results when compared to other treatments or procedures used on patients of Mesothelioma.

How does Chemotherapy work? Well, this procedure is designed to stop cancel cells by either killing them or by preventing them from developing into dangerous tumors. Most people who have even a slight amount of knowledge about cancer know that cancer cells are not as friendly as healthy cells and they tend to grow out of control in a way which, if left unattended, always has a massive negative impact on patients and their lives. Drugs that are used in Chemotherapy have a sole mission, which is to stop the rampant growth of cancer cells. Being treated by Chemotherapy does not provide a patient with absolute protection or cure from Mesothelioma but it does buy some time for them.

There are some serious side effects of Chemotherapy but it does help people with pleural Mesothelioma by giving them some more time to live. Taking into consideration, Chemotherapy can be dangerous as treatment. It is thanks to modern technology and development that patients are getting help in terms of modern medicines and therapies.

Chemotherapy Process

Usually, Chemotherapy could be taken in the form of primary treatment for patients with pleural mesothelioma and mostly those patients who are not candidates for surgery. Since it is a process to reduce cancer cells by killing them, it is suggested that patients, who can undergo surgery, have their tumors reduced or shrunk as much as possible beforehand or afterward. Chemotherapy’s usage generally depends on stage in which disease is in and patients’ overall health.

Chemotherapy is granted to patients in hospitals, cancer centers and chemotherapy centers. Medicine of chemotherapy could be given intravenously (through a vein), which is most common method, or in form of a pill, the option is determined by the doctor themselves. These medicines travel throughout the body of patient as it searches for cancer cells that it can destroy. One of major side effects of this process is that it may also kill non-cancer (healthy) cells which results in various range of side effects.

To ensure that patient is admissible for Chemotherapy, vitals of them are taken with importance given to their weight, height and blood samples. Moreover, blood samples may be collected to make a document on number of red and white blood cell counts. Since some side effects are common, medicines are given in order to prevent nausea and fluids. Administering of drug is carried out for a certain amount of time (might be minutes or hours) and IV is taken out. After this, checking of patients’ vitals are performed and either a nurse or a doctor is responsible on how to deal with side effects. Mostly, anti-nausea and other specific medications for side effects may be prescribed for the patients.

 

Side effects of Chemotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma

It might be difficult for patients to taken in the side effects of Chemotherapy though, due to modern chemotherapy drugs, these side effects have been lessened considerably. These new pain and anti-nausea medications are deemed to be better at reducing some side effects of Chemotherapy.

Nevertheless, it is considered to be a difficult therapy to be tolerated and doctors need to examine and monitor their patients very closely so that no any life-threatening consequences occur. There are side effects of chemotherapy which subside when therapy is over but there are some which take longer to leave or disappear or they may even be permanent. Most of the side effects can be dealt with medications.

Most common side effects of Chemotherapy include these:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Low platelet count and clotting concerns
  • Tingling feeling in hands and feet
  • Low white blood cell count (which makes patient vulnerable to infections)
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Generalized achy feeling
  • Rashes
  • Depression or anxiety

Let us discuss about general categories that fall as treatment for Mesothelioma. They are:

  • Multimodal therapy:
    • This method makes a combination of, usually, more than one process for treating cancer. Mesothelioma sees surgery with Chemotherapy and radiation therapy as common approach of treatment. But with multimodal approach, doctors and specialists have seen some improvement as there have been clinical studies that have proven that this therapy or approach improves survival rates for patients who are healthy enough to qualify for aggressive treatment of cancer.
  • Systemic therapy:
    • This method makes use of drugs in order to fully neutralize or destroy cells that are causes of cancer.
  • Immunotherapy:
    • Given another name as biologic therapy, this method is seemingly designed with aim to increase patients’ body’s natural defenses so that it can fight cancer. This method uses materials that are constructed in laboratory to improve, restore or target immune system function.

 

Recovering from cancer is not possible all the time. It is sort of disease that usually leaves a person vulnerable to losing their life. If cancer cannot be controlled as much as is wish of doctors or professionals, then it, as a disease, may be called advanced or terminal.

 

Patients who have been diagnosed with advanced cancer and who are expected to live less than six months could be granted with a type of palliative care which is often known as hospice care. More families have been encouraged to have a good chat with health care about hospice care options that include hospice care at home, special hospice center or other health care locations. Caring and not ignoring patients always has a positive impact on them.