Helpful Things to Know About Chemotherapy

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Helpful Things to Know About Chemotherapy

Image filename: appointment-doctor Alt-text: a person’s appointment with an oncologist

It is normal to feel overwhelmed or worried when you find out you need chemotherapy. Though it’s a common treatment for cancer, it can feel very daunting.

The treatment entails administering medicines to destroy cancer cells. Your doctor can also pair it with other treatments, such as radiation therapy. However, learning more about chemotherapy and working closely with your oncologist can help you be more prepared and less anxious.

If you need help affording medicines for chemo, we recommend enrolling in a reputable prescription assistance program today.

Here are some helpful things to know before you start chemotherapy.

#1: Why Do You Need Chemotherapy?

Normally, the body works to replace cells that divide, grow, and die. However, with cancer, the affected individual’s body constantly reproduces cells without killing them. As a result, the body produces an uncontrollable amount of these abnormal cells.

Chemotherapy is a treatment that interferes and helps with the body’s reproduction of cells.

It is used to:

  1. Reduce the total number of cancer cells found in the body.
  2. Lower the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
  3. Shrink the size of the tumor.
  4. Alleviate the current symptoms.

Additionally, your oncologist might also recommend chemotherapy if you’ve recently undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. That’s because it helps ensure any remaining cancer cells are killed.

#2: Are There Any Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy can result in adverse side effects ranging from mild to severe, depending on the type and duration of the treatment.

Some common side effects include:

  1. Anemia
  2. Excessive bleeding
  3. Changes in skin and nails
  4. Cognitive issues
  5. Constipation
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Dry mouth
  8. Frequent bruising
  9. Fatigue
  10. Fertility changes
  11. Fever
  12. Hair loss
  13. Hearing impairment
  14. Infections
  15. Loss of appetite
  16. Lymphedema
  17. Mouth sores
  18. Mucositis
  19. Nausea
  20. Nerve damage
  21. Neuropathy
  22. Pain
  23. Sexual changes
  24. Vomiting
  25. Weight loss

#3: What Are the Types of Chemotherapy?

Various drugs work to kill cancer cells or prevent them from spreading, depending on their classification. These drugs are administered according to the type of chemotherapy recommended by your oncologist. These include:

Alkylating Agents

These are the most commonly used cancer drugs that affect the DNA to kill the cancer cells in the multiple phases of the cell cycle.

Antimetabolites

These are designed to replace natural substances as the building blocks in DNA molecules. They mimic nutrients that the cells need to trick cancer cells into consuming them. As a result, the cells eventually starve.

Anti-tumor Antibiotics

They bind with DNA to prevent RNA (ribonucleic acid) synthesis. In other words, it stops cells from reproducing uncontrollably.

Plant alkaloids

These plant-derived drugs block the cancer cells’ ability to divide.

 

cancer meds

 

Proper and timely treatment of cancer is critical in ensuring recovery. However, many people don’t get treatment due to the costs of chemo and other medicines. That’s where we come in.

Here at Advocate My Meds, we offer assistance for prescriptions for underinsured and uninsured Americans. Our full-service prescription assistance organization offers various prescription assistance programs for the medicines you require.

Contact us today.