What is chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is cancer treatment which uses anti-cancer drugs given through injections to the patient. The drug travels through the body of the patient and kill cancer cells. The chemotherapy can be given in following two situations:

Before Surgery:

Chemotherapy can be recommended before the surgery if the tumor is too big to remove at the time of diagnosis. Such type of chemo is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. It shrinks the size of the tumor so that it can be removed with less extensive surgery and also doctor can see if the tumor is responding to the drug and medications.

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After Surgery:

Chemotherapy might also be recommended after the surgery. This type of chemo is known as adjuvant chemotherapy and is done to remove any cancer cells that might be left during surgical procedure and can’t be seen on imaging tests. It reduces the recurrence of cancer cells.

For Advanced Breast Cancer:

Chemotherapy is also recommended to those patients whose cancer has grown to outside the breast and armpit areas. It destroys as much cells as possible.

Chemotherapy usually lasts in 3 to 6 months, depending on the drug used and how well it is working and patient is tolerating it. Typical chemotherapy is given once every three weeks for about four months.

Chemo drugs have side effects which affects differently to every individual patient. Some might respond high to the side effects and some might not, depending upon the type of drug patient is receiving. The side effects usually end after the treatment. However, patient might use some drug to lessen the side effects.