Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy.  Photo from www.sciencephoto.com

Chemotherapy Malignant tumors — is the use of drugs for medical reasons hindering the proliferation of tumor cells or irreversibly damaging them.

From the history of chemotherapy

The results of the first experiment using chemotherapy were published in 1946. The first anti-cancer drug was embihin, the creation of poison gas on the basis of the First World War — mustard. It was he and initiated the creation of a major group of anticancer agents — cytostatics.

What medications are used to treat tumors?

Currently, chemotherapy separated by alkylating cytostatics, antimetabolites, antibiotics, plant, etc. Inhibition of tumor growth by hormones, anti-hormones or substances that regulate their production, also referred to as cancer chemotherapy.

There are scientifically designed and experimentally rigorous regimen with anti-cancer agents — what drugs are prescribed in the first place, in what doses and what combinations. Determine the treatment regimen may only oncologist and totally unacceptable guide any unauthorized recommendations or change their own course of treatment.

Why chemotherapy so poorly tolerated?

The fact that tumor cells are not foreign to the body a patient. They arise from normal cells of its organs and tissues. So it is very difficult to create a drug that would hurt the tumor cells, but would not harm the healthy cells of the body.

The main difference from normal cancer cells is that cancer cells proliferate much faster than conventional, as they impaired the normal regulation of division (which actually makes their malignant). Most of the anti-cancer drug damages the cell at the time of the division — the more shares cell, the greater the impact does the medication. But the problem is that among the many normal cells are also quite "active lifestyle" and divide very often. These include bone marrow, skin and hair follicles, gastrointestinal tract. That's why to frequent complications anticancer chemotherapy are violations of blood, hair loss, nausea and diarrhea.

To minimize side effects, are more drugs directed action, to distinguish a cancer cell specific structures on its surface, or inhibiting enzymes that are unique to cancer cells — but they are effective only for treating certain types of tumors.

Drugs for cancer chemotherapy very much — scientists around the world working to improve the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of anticancer agents.

Why prescribe chemotherapy with surgery?

Appointment of anticancer drugs before surgery — non-adjuvant chemotherapy— To reduce the size of the tumor, slow its growth, prevent metastasis (spread of cancer cells throughout the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system).

After the operation — adjuvant chemotherapy— Allows you to destroy the remnants of the tumor, which was unable to kill the surgeon, and invisible metastases.

How long should I spend treatment?

Frequency and duration of chemotherapy depends on the type of tumor and disease severity. The introduction of drugs can be daily, weekly, monthly. Duration of treatment is usually from a few weeks to six months, and determined by the physician based on the continuous monitoring of the tumor and the patient.

Every year, 450,000 patients in Russia are receiving chemotherapy, and despite the severity of the danger, many patients it prolongs life and even helps to fully cope with the tumor.

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