What are the drawbacks of chemotherapy?
The side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, infections, fatigue, loss of taste buds, and destruction of the immune system. Most chemotherapy operates on the principle that the most rapidly dividing cells will be the most susceptible to the drug.
What are the benefits and risks of chemotherapy?
It may be given before surgery or radiation to shrink a tumor and afterward to kill any cancer cells left behind. While very effective against rapidly growing cancer cells, chemotherapy can also affect healthy cells that divide quickly, and that damage can cause side effects.
Is there any benefit to chemotherapy?
The main benefit of chemotherapy is its potential to destroy cancer cells. It remains one of the most potent tools we have to fight cancer. The potential benefit to each patient depends on treatment goals, which depend on the type of cancer, how advanced it is and what the patient hopes to get out of treatment.
What is the primary negative side effect of chemotherapy treatments?
Tiredness. Tiredness (fatigue) is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Many people having treatment feel tired a lot of the time or get tired very easily doing everyday tasks.
What is the life expectancy after chemotherapy?
During the 3 decades, the proportion of survivors treated with chemotherapy alone increased (from 18% in 1970-1979 to 54% in 1990-1999), and the life expectancy gap in this chemotherapy-alone group decreased from 11.0 years (95% UI, 9.0-13.1 years) to 6.0 years (95% UI, 4.5-7.6 years).
Is chemo painful?
Why it happens: Chemotherapy may cause painful side effects like burning, numbness and tingling or shooting pains in your hands and feet, as well as mouth sores, headaches, muscle and stomach pain. Pain can be caused by the cancer itself or by the chemo.
What is the success rate of chemotherapy?
Five years after treatment, the rate of overall survival was 98.1% for those who had chemo and 98.0% for those who did not. Nine years after treatment, the rate of overall survival was 93.8% for those who had chemo and 93.9% for those who did not.
When is chemo not recommended?
Chemotherapy usually is NOT recommended for non-invasive, in situ cancers such as DCIS because they have very little risk of spreading to other parts of the body.
Why chemotherapy has side effects?
Why does chemo cause side effects? Cancer cells tend to grow fast, and chemo drugs kill fast-growing cells. But because these drugs travel throughout the body, they can affect normal, healthy cells that are fast-growing, too. Damage to healthy cells causes side effects.
How has chemotherapy improved?
“Chemotherapy is now able to more precisely target the tumor, leaving the rest of the healthy cells alone.” There are also major advancements in complementary medications that ease chemo side effects. “We have much better preventative medicine that prevents or fixes unintended side effects,” she says.