There was a time when cancer was a dirty word. People just didn’t want to discuss the big C, which created more problems than it solved. The fact of the matter is that one in three of us will suffer from this illness. If you get the diagnosis, you need to know what your options are. We should discuss this issue is an adult manner. After all, with such a massive number of people suffering, it is crucial that people have access to the proper information. Much of the time, doctors suggest chemotherapy for cancer patients. You have probably heard of the treatment, but do you know what it entails?
What is chemotherapy?
First, let’s talk a little about what chemotherapy is. There are two main processes that you might use for this treatment. The first is monotherapy, which means that you have just one type of medicine. The second is combination therapy, which uses more than one medicine. Before you have the therapy itself, you need to take a test. This process will determine whether you are healthy enough to cope with the side effects. After that, you will have a series of blood tests and scans. When the doctor has completed these things, he or she will start your treatment plan. Chemo can be oral (as in you take tablets) or intravenous (through and injection).
Why do people have it?
In the case of curative chemo, the aim will be to cure your cancer completely and deliver you back to a normal health level. The doctor may also create a combination treatment plan that uses both chemo and radiotherapy. In this case, the chemo should help to make the radiotherapy more effective than it would otherwise be. Once the cancer cells are gone, you may have to have further chemotherapy to prevent them coming back. Sometimes, when it is not possible to cure your cancer, your doctor will suggest this therapy to help relieve your symptoms.
What are the side effects?
As you may already know, this style of therapy will have a few side effects. One of the main things that people find is that they begin to lose their hair. Through the course of the treatment, they may go bald. If you have this problem, there are wigs for cancer patients that some people find useful. Other side effects include general sickness and weakness. Your doctor will give you all the advice you need about this issue. When you experience side effects, you ought to report them to an official. That way, they can assess your situation as quickly as possible.
Who can you talk to about it?
While you go through this treatment process, it is vital that you have social support. Many people find this period traumatic, and so you need people who you can trust and talk to about it. Of course, your family and friends can help you out, but you may want to see a professional too. Many doctors suggest that you seek external counseling services as well as talking to the people around you. Of course, you can always talk to your doctor about your feelings as well. It is likely that they will help you with any of your problems.
Other options available
If chemotherapy is not for you, there may be other options. There is now a treatment series called ‘targeted therapies,’ which may be appropriate for your illness. You should talk to a medical professional about this option. This therapy stops the cancer cells from duplicating. On the flip side, chemotherapy administers poison to the cancerous cells. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is right for you.