Cancer treatment: Surprising facts about chemotherapy | Health.

Chemotherapy, despite being a widely used cancer treatment, is often misunderstood by many. It is important to debunk some common myths and misconceptions surrounding this crucial treatment process. In a recent interview with Lifestyle, Dr Ashish Gupta, an American board-certified Medical Oncologist and Chief of Medical Oncology at Unique Hospital Cancer Centre in New Delhi’s Dwarka, shed light on the importance and effectiveness of chemotherapy in cancer control.

Here are some key points to consider about chemotherapy that you may not have known:

1. Chemotherapy is not a painful process. Many patients are able to lead relatively normal lives while undergoing treatment. It is crucial to avoid close contact with sick individuals, as chemotherapy can weaken the immune system. Rest assured, undergoing chemotherapy does not pose a risk of cancer transmission to others in your vicinity.

2. Age is not a barrier to receiving chemotherapy. Before initiating treatment, your physical fitness will be evaluated, and the chemotherapy regimen will be tailored to meet your specific needs.

3. Chemotherapy can be administered through various methods, including a normal IV, a PICC line, or a chemo port, depending on the specific chemotherapy drugs and your preferences.

4. Many individuals are able to work while undergoing chemotherapy. Immediate side effects are not commonly experienced after treatments; they typically manifest a few days later. While taking a few days off work may be necessary during this period, many patients are able to maintain their routine with some adjustments.

Dr Amit Upadhaya, Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology at MASSH Hospital in New Delhi, also emphasized the evolving landscape of chemotherapy. With over 400 drugs within the chemotherapy category, newer agents are continuously being developed with improved side effect profiles. These advancements make chemotherapy safer, even for patients with liver or kidney dysfunctions.

Furthermore, Dr Upadhaya highlighted the importance of personalized treatment plans and the role of targeted agents and biotherapy molecules in modern cancer therapy. Research in this field is ongoing, leading to the development of treatments that are as effective, if not better, than traditional chemotherapies. Lifestyle interventions such as yoga, meditation, regular exercise, and a balanced diet have also been shown to mitigate side effects and reduce the likelihood of cancer recurrence.

In conclusion, it is essential to dispel misconceptions about chemotherapy and recognize the advancements that have made this treatment option more tolerable and effective for cancer patients. By staying informed and embracing personalized treatment approaches, individuals undergoing chemotherapy can navigate their journey with greater confidence and comfort.

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