Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cancer And Chemotherapy Important Facts LR - Health

Cancer patients may have no other choice but to resort to chemotherapy in order to treat their illness. In oncology, adjuvant chemotherapy plays an important role particularly in combination with other cancer treatments. Adjuvant chemotherapy is an additional treatment given to the patient after surgery to help prevent any cancerous cells that may have not been completely removed during surgery from developing or increasing in number. The health condition is often susceptible to relapses in cancer cases, since no specialist can foresee the evolution or involution of cancer cells.

Chemical-based treatments together with radiotherapy are part of the same adjuvant chemotherapy category prescribed by doctors to stop cancer spread. Statistics indicate that about a third of the patients who have received adjuvant chemotherapy treatment have already been completely cured with the help of the surgery alone. For the less fortunate ones, the long term aim of the adjuvant chemotherapy is to increase the life extent of the sufferer.

The types of cancer in which adjuvant chemotherapy is used are quite various and here we may include colon cancer, lung, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer as well as some forms of gynecological cancers.

Beside the adjuvant chemotherapy, there is also another type of treatment that resembles the former in name; that is, neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. The neo-variant consists in the administration of drugs in the stage preceding the anti-cancer treatment per se. For instance, neo-adjuvant chemotherapy may be prescribed to a breast-cancer patient who will have to undergo surgery for breast removal. The aim of such a type of therapy is to minimize the tumor size so that there are fewer risks and a higher rate of success in the surgical intervention.

All in all, adjuvant chemotherapy has been identified as more effective when it is prescribed after the tumor removal rather than before it because the remaining cancer cells are fewer in number and, as a result, the drug is more powerful on them. The drugs specific to this type of treatment are most efficient when they are administered directly into the blood of the patient, that is, intravenously; another way of increasing drug efficiency is to use it locally in the exact body part attacked by cancer.

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