While there is no one cure for the many forms of cancer, modern medicine has discovered the procedure of chemotherapy as a measure to combat cancer in the human body. However, the process of chemotherapy is a confusing one to understand and there are many different aspects to the treatment. For clarity about chemotherapy, read our guide on how chemotherapy works. If you need chemotherapy in Houston and are looking for a qualified medical professional, contact the team at the Breast Institute Houston.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is the process of using a drug or a combination of drugs through an intravenous or endocrine application to treat cancer. This process has proven to be an effective but painful treatment, as the drugs used are classified as systemic treatments. This means that in the process of trying to kill or slow fast-growing cancer cells, it can also target healthy, fast-growing cells throughout the entire body.
Systemic treatments take a substantial toll on your health, energy and chemical balances, and healthy cells that attribute to hair growth and stomach lining can be damaged because of chemotherapy treatments. There are ways to cope with the side effects of chemotherapy and the potential for fighting off cancerous cells entirely makes the process more beneficial despite the side effects. If you have more questions regarding the treatment of cancer through chemotherapy in Houston, contact the Breast Institute of Houston to speak with a professional today.
How Does Chemotherapy Work?
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, the treatment is chosen based on the factors of the type of cancer. These factors include the tumor marker, the tumor size, whether the cancer has presented in the patient’s lymph nodes, and a gene expression profile score. Depending on the results of testing, treatment is determined to respond to the exact type of cancer, and the specific threat it poses. Because cancer cells are aggressive and grow very quickly, chemotherapy treatment must be administered frequently.
In the case of intravenous treatment, the cancer patient will have the drugs administered a few times a week, as instructed by their physician. If the endocrine treatment is prescribed, the patient will be responsible for taking pills orally for up to five years. In the case of an intravenous drug treatment, a patient will go through chemotherapy cycles, where the drugs will be administered every day, for a set amount of days or weeks. After this period, the patient will follow with a rest cycle, where no chemotherapy injections will be received. This allows for physicians to mark how the drug is either aiding the depletion of cancerous cells, or how the drug is ineffective in ridding the cells from a body.
Chemotherapy is a difficult treatment to undergo under any circumstance because of the toll it takes on the body of a patient. Since the drugs administered are formulated to fight constantly growing cells, healthy cells can also be destroyed from chemotherapy treatments. This leads to hair loss and a loss of appetite and stomach strength, since the drugs target these growing cells as well as the dangerous cancer cells. Patients of chemotherapy treatment will most likely endure major hair loss on their head, and throughout their entire body, and can experience symptoms of vomiting or nausea due to the breaking down of stomach lining. While these symptoms can be treated through other drug administration, there is no way to fully resume an aggressive chemotherapy treatment course without experiencing a loss of body vitality, along with the aforementioned symptoms. If you’re looking for an expert opinion on chemotherapy in Houston, or you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miltenburg, call the Breast Institute of Houston today and set up an appointment.