What is Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer?
Chemotherapy is a commonly used term in various types of cancer treatments. For lung cancer, chemotherapy has a wide role to play. It uses the anti-cancer drugs with the purpose of destroying cancer cells and causing least damage to the healthy cells.
When lung cancer occurs in the body, the cells are reproduced in an uncontrollable way. As these cells are produced, they need more space and even occupy the space previously used by healthy cells. Here, chemotherapy drugs interfere with the cancer cell’s ability to divide and reproduce.
How Chemo Works?
The drugs in Chemotherapy treatment are injected into the vein or are taken by mouth. Such drugs enter the bloodstream and go through the body. Chemotherapy drugs target the food source of cancer cells to kill them.
Each chemotherapy treatment is called cycle and is followed by a rest period. As chemo also kills the normal cells, rest period ensures that the body receives adequate time to recover and produce new healthy cells. Chemo cycles generally last for about three to four weeks. For advanced cancer, it may be given for four to six cycles.
What are Chemotherapy Drugs?
The chemotherapy treatment plan includes a combination of drugs. These drugs include:
When is Chemotherapy Used?
Chemotherapy treatment is given at different periods of time, including
- Before or during radiation therapy with the purpose of making it more effective
- Before or after surgery to reduce the risk of cancer
- As the main treatment option for people with advanced cancer
What are the Possible Side Effects?
Chemotherapy drugs come with side effects as well. The common ones include hair loss, loss of appetite, mouth sores, diarrhea, fatigue and more. You can also have a look at long term side effects of chemotherapy.
The information shared here is for educational purposes only.