Although a single chemotherapy drug can be used to treat cancer, generally they are more powerful when used in combination with other drugs. Your chemotherapy treatment probably will consist of more than one drug. This is called combination chemotherapy. A combination of drugs with different actions can work together to kill more cancer cells and reduce the chance that you may become resistant to a particular chemotherapy drug. You and your doctor will decide which drug or combination of drugs, dosages, way it will be given, and frequency and length of treatment are best for you. All of these decisions will depend on the type of cancer, its location, the extent of its growth, how it is affecting your normal body functions, and your general health.
What Is The Goal of Chemotherapy?
Depending on the type of cancer and its stage of development, chemotherapy can be used to achieve these goals:
– Cure your cancer
– Keep the cancer from spreading
– Slow the cancer’s growth
– Kill cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body from the original tumor
– Relieve symptoms caused by cancerYour doctor will discuss with you the goal of your chemotherapy before
you start treatment.
Will Chemotherapy Be My Only Treatment for Cancer?
Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment you will need. More often, chemotherapy is used in addition to surgery or radiation therapy or both. Here’s why:
– Chemotherapy may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy.
– It may be used after surgery of radiation therapy to help destroy any remaining cancer cells.
– It may be used with other treatments if your cancer returns.
When Chemotherapy is Given After Surgery
Chemotherapy is given to destroy any cancer cells that may still remain present, it is called adjuvant therapy. When chemotherapy is used to shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy, it is called neoadjuvant therapy.
RADIATION THERAPY WHEN IS IT USED?
Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It’s often part of the main treatment for certain types of cancer, such as cancers of the head and neck, bladder, lung, and Hodgkin disease. Many other cancers are also treated with.
Thousands of people become cancer free after getting radiation treatments.Radiation can be given alone or used with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy. In fact, certain drugs are known to be radiosensitizers. This means they can actually make the cancer cells more sensitive to radiation, which allows the radiation to better kill cancer cells.
There are also different ways to give radiation. Sometimes a patient gets more than one type of radiation treatment for the same cancer.