Chemotherapy refers to a range of treatments aimed at destroying or slowing the growth of cancer cells by the action of drugs and chemical compounds. Chemotherapy is most effective when combined with surgery and / or radiotherapy. Its effectiveness depends on the type of cancer and its stage of development. Sometimes, chemotherapy is able to completely destroy the cancer cells, while in other cases it will only be able to prevent their spread while waiting for surgery. Chemotherapy is also used to reduce the size of tumors before surgical removal.
Each form of cancer is unique, and the type of drugs used and the duration of treatment vary from case to case. In general, a combination of drugs adapted to the needs of each patient is used. Many other factors also influence the choice of drugs used, such as the patient’s age, underlying health problems, chemotherapy already followed, and family history. Chemotherapy is usually taken in cycles, with intense periods of 2-3 days of therapy followed by a rest period, so that the body can recover and replenish healthy cells. Depending on the stage of the cancer and the purpose of the treatment, it can last between 1 and 5 cycles.
The side effects of chemotherapy are known. Although the therapy is able to target cancer cells, it is impossible to avoid the destruction of healthy cells, especially in the hair, skin and bone marrow. This results in the most notable side effects of chemotherapy, such as hair loss, illness, fatigue, nausea, and aging of the appearance. The side effects of chemotherapy dissipate over time after treatment is complete.
What other cancer treatments are available abroad?
Traveling abroad for oncology treatment has become a popular choice, especially for patients coming from countries where cancer care is too expensive or waiting times too long. Germany, Israel, and Spain for example are renowned for their quality treatments and experienced specialists.