Chemotherapy News

Chemotherapy is a common medical treatment for cancer. It involves giving the body chemicals that either slow the growth of or kill cancer cells. As a result, chemotherapy can also stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy can be administered in a various ways, depending on the nature and severity of the cancer. It may be taken orally or applied to the skin. It also might be given via an IV or an injection. Similarly, chemotherapy may be the only cancer treatment given, or it may be used along with surgery, radiation therapy and other methods to rid the body of cancer.

How Chemotherapy Works

Chemotherapy can slow down cancer growth, reduce cancer symptoms and even cure cancer in some instances. But it is very strong medicine, so it can lead to a number of side effects. Chemotherapy is typically administered by a qualified health care professional during an office visit at a hospital or cancer clinic. Due to the strength of chemotherapy, it is typical to receive the medication in cycles. This usually involves receiving chemotherapy for a period of time, followed by a period of rest and recovery. This lets the body fight the cancer without being overwhelmed by the side effects of the drugs.

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Cancer is a deadly disease, and though the side effects of chemotherapy are strong, the benefits typically outweigh the risks of the treatment. Still, chemotherapy can cause a number of side effects so it’s important to be aware of these. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, hair loss, nausea and vomiting, pain, mouth sores and reduced blood cell counts. But a variety of other side effects can also occur. Patients can cope with these side effects by getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet and getting help from others. Depending on the specific side effects, people having chemotherapy treatment may need to make arrangements with their employers to accommodate their ability to work based on the chemotherapy treatments.

SOURCES: U.S. National Cancer Institute

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Chemotherapy and Heart Health

Drug for aggressive breast cancer may raise risk of heart failure

Medical Marijuana Won't Help Most Sick Kids

Helped with chemo-linked nausea, epilepsy, but no evidence for other conditions

Cooling Mitts, Socks May Ease a Major Chemo Side Effect

Nerve damage in limbs causes some to stop cancer treatment early

Adding Drug to Standard Care May Prolong Lymphoma Survival

Doctors expect this will become new standard for people with mantle-cell lymphoma

Radiation and Chemotherapy Together Boost Lung Cancer Survival

About one-third of stage 3 patients alive after 5 years, a development called promising by oncologists

Alternative Medicine Alone as Cancer Treatment Linked to Lowered Survival

There's not much research into these therapies, study authors said

Researchers ID Genes in Mice That Cause Aggressive Brain Cancer

Discovery of triggers that make glioblastoma resistant to chemo offers hope for future treatments, study authors say

FDA Widens Access to 'Cooling Cap' to Stop Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Treatment now OK'd for patients receiving chemotherapy for solid tumors

Childhood Chemo May Have Lasting Effects on Memory

Study found timing of treatment seemed to play a role

Cancer Drug Helps Some Kids With Rare Type of Leukemia

Dasatinib prolonged survival in chronic myeloid leukemia patients, study says

Drug Xeloda Prolongs Survival for Some Breast Cancer Patients

It cut risk of relapse, death by 30 percent over 5 years, trial found

Chemo Drug May Buy Time for Those With Bile Duct Cancer

For patients with the rare disease, survival benefit was seen in those given Xeloda, researchers say

More U.S. Women Living Longer With Advanced Breast Cancer

Better treatments, aging population may explain promising trend, researchers say

Vaccine Targeting Brain Tumors Seems Safe in Study

Combo therapy may also extend survival of glioblastoma patients, but more research needed

Health Tip: Eat Healthy After Radiation Therapy

It's important to eat, even if you aren't hungry

Surgery May Be Best for Advanced Melanoma

Patients who had lesions reaching the belly removed lived about 18 months longer, study says

Seniors With Brain Cancer May Have Better Treatment Option

Chemo plus radiation appears to extend survival of older glioblastoma patients, study says

Brain Training for Cancer Survivors' Nerve Damage

Neurofeedback seems to offers relief from chemo-induced pain, research finds

Low-Fat Meal May Boost Costly Cancer Drug

But patients shouldn't try this on their own, researcher warns

Stopping Hair Loss from Chemotherapy

Scalp-cooling devices may help prevent hair loss in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, studies find.

'Cooling Caps' May Halt Chemo-Linked Hair Loss

One of two trials was stopped early because results were so strong

Gene Therapy Helps 2 Babies Fight Type of Leukemia

Tweaking T-cells from healthy donor allowed infants to reach remission, researchers report

Is Chemo Overused in Younger Colon Cancer Patients?

Study found the treatment often wasn't beneficial, but cancer expert says more research is needed

Half Report Severe Side Effects From Breast Cancer Therapy

Digestive troubles, pain, skin irritation and arm swelling among possible problems

'Chemo Brain' Lasts for Months in Many Breast Cancer Survivors

Altered thinking must be acknowledged as 'one of the difficulties of treatment,' specialist says

Delaying Chemo After Lung Cancer Surgery? Better Late Than Never

Patient recovery may mean longer time to the treatment, but study suggests it can still have benefit

Lung-Sparing Surgery May Boost Mesothelioma Survival

Treatment nearly doubled survival or more, study finds

Chemo Drug May Combat Serious Brain Tumor After All

Certain glioblastomas respond to anti-angiogenic compounds, study finds

Chemo More Damaging to Hearts of Diabetics: Study

Those with blood sugar disease showed more early warning signs of heart failure

Immune-Focused Drug Shows Promise Against Lung Cancer

Tecentriq extended survival by several months for patients with advanced disease, study found

Strength Training May Prevent Side Effect of Breast Cancer Surgery

Women who worked out twice a week saw less swelling in arms and chest, small study finds

'Cold Caps' May Halt Hair Loss in Breast Cancer Patients: Study

Devices reduce blood flow to hair follicles during chemotherapy treatments