Chemotherapy is a chemical drug therapy to treat cancer by destroying rapidly growing cancerous cells.
Every session of chemotherapy may take 30-60 minutes, and your oncologist will inform you about the same on a prior basis itself. Chemotherapy is concerned with OPD services, and you need to visit the hospital as per your appointments
Generally, cancer patients have to undergo six sessions of chemotherapy, but it may vary as per the stage of Cancer and other patient-related factors
Some other tests may also be conducted including a blood test, X-Ray, physical examination, HIV, PET Scan, liver and kidney tests.
Chemotherapy cost in India can vary between 1500 and 1700 USD.
Chemotherapy holds great importance in cancer treatment. It is the primary treatment for patients who have Cancer. Types of chemotherapy are as follows:
● Adjuvant therapy: Chemotherapy serves as an adjunct therapy in killing the residual cancer cells post-surgery
● Neoadjuvant treatment: Oncologists may prescribe chemotherapy before surgery as well. The main motive is to shrink the tumor in size so that other procedures can be carried out
● For Palliation: In patients where surgical and other treatments are not possible, chemotherapy can serve as a rescue treatment. It helps in minimizing the symptoms associated with Cancer.
● Disorders of the Immune system: Apart from Cancer, chemotherapy is also prescribed certain diseases of the immune system. The hyperactive immune system in case of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are two such conditions where chemotherapy can prove to be useful
Chemotherapy is a harsh procedure, and before exposing the patient's body to it, oncologists check for the ability to the patient to accept the chemotherapy treatment.
1. Physical examination, blood test, liver function tests, and kidney function test are conducted to check for the health status of the patient.
2. Chemotherapy may lower the innate immune system of the patients. Also, the chances of complications due to any prior infections are high during a chemotherapy procedure. To minimize such complications, any prevalent diseases are first treated before initiation of the chemotherapy.
3. Chemotherapy may result in long-term side effects. In such cases, the doctor may advise you to take any safety steps on a prior basis, for example, the doctor may advise you to preserve your egg or sperm in advance itself, if there is any risk of infertility post-chemotherapy.
4. Setting up safety and first aid at home and office in advance itself so that patients can carry out routine tasks while undergoing chemotherapy on out outpatient basis.
Chemotherapy involves the administration of drugs into a patient's body in various ways. It can be done any one of the following ways:
1. Chemotherapy infusion: With chemotherapy infusion, the drugs are released into the patient 's body at a constant rate. A device is surgically implanted into the vein through which the drug is administered.
2. Chemotherapy pills.
3. Chemotherapy injections.
4. Chemotherapy creams for skin cancer.
5. Targeted chemotherapy: using this approach, the drug is directly passed on to a particular area of the body. For example, in the case of intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the drug is directly infused from the abdomen into the cavity of the chest.
Chemotherapy drugs are highly strong and reactive. They may result in the following side effects:
1. Hair loss
2. Nausea and vomiting
3. Loss of appetite
4. Mouth sores
6. Body ache
7. Kidney damage
11. Heart problems
Most of these side effects are temporary and may subside soon after the completion of the course of treatment.
Cost of chemotherapy may vary depending on the following factors:
1. The hospital and facilities were chosen by the patient
2. Stage of Cancer, drugs to be registered and the number of cycles required by the patient may also influence the cost of chemotherapy
3. The cost associated with the follow-up treatment
4. Cost of the diagnostic tests carried out
India is one of the best countries if you are looking for excellent health care facilities at affordable prices. The cost of chemotherapy in India ranges between 1500-1700 USD per cycle. It may further vary depending on various patient-related factors
Patient's resistance and adaptability to the treatment are regarded as the two key factors when considering the side effects. Some patients may experience a lot of side effects, while others may show no side effects at all. However, it must be noted that the risk to benefit ratio in case of chemotherapy is very low and all the side effects may either subside after completion of the therapy or can be cured
Hair loss, nausea, and vomiting are regarded as the most common side effects of chemotherapy.
Generally, there are six cycles of chemotherapy for patients. It may be administered on a weekly or monthly basis depending upon the patient condition, cancer type, and the treatment goal
Yes, while surgery and radiotherapy are localized procedures and kill cancer cells in a particular area, chemotherapy tends to kill cancer cells throughout the body
The course of chemotherapy is designed in a manner to give a period of rest after every cycle of drug administration. The rest period may vary between 1-2 weeks. This is generally offered to enable the generation of healthy cells by the patient's body.