What happens to your body during chemotherapy?

Wilbert Weishaar asked, updated on May 24th, 2022; Topic: chemotherapy
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Chemotherapy can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, bowel issues such as constipation or diarrhoea, hair loss, mouth sores, skin and nail problems. You may have trouble concentrating or remembering things. There can also be nerve and muscle effects and hearing changes.

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Brief, does chemotherapy cure cancer?

Curative therapy: Chemotherapy is the only treatment. It cures the cancer. Neoadjuvant therapy: Chemotherapy shrinks a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy. Palliative therapy: Chemotherapy shrinks tumors and lessens symptoms, but does not cure the cancer.

Be that as it may, how does chemo actually work? It usually works by keeping the cancer cells from growing, dividing, and making more cells. Because cancer cells usually grow and divide faster than normal cells, chemotherapy has more of an effect on cancer cells. However, the drugs used for chemotherapy are powerful, and they can still cause damage to healthy cells.

Likewise, is chemo painful?

Why it happens: Chemotherapy may cause painful side effects like burning, numbness and tingling or shooting pains in your hands and feet, as well as mouth sores, headaches, muscle and stomach pain. Pain can be caused by the cancer itself or by the chemo.

What percentage of chemo patients survive?

Five years after treatment, 47% of those who got chemo were still alive. The five-year survival rate was 39% among those who did not undergo chemo.

12 Related Questions Answered

How many rounds of chemo can a person have?

You may need four to eight cycles to treat your cancer. A series of cycles is called a course. Your course can take 3 to 6 months to complete. And you may need more than one course of chemo to beat the cancer.

Can cancer just go away on its own?

It is hard to believe that some cancers miraculously disappear, but it does happen. Over 1,000 case studies document cancer sufferers who experienced spontaneous regression of their tumour.

How long can chemo prolong life?

For most cancers where palliative chemotherapy is used, this number ranges from 3-12 months. The longer the response, the longer you can expect to live.

Can you feel chemo working?

It's difficult to tell on your own whether chemo is working without taking the above diagnostic tests. Depending on the type and stage of cancer you have, however, you may notice an improvement in cancer symptoms if the condition is being treated. Examples may include: improved energy levels.

What happens if you choose not to have chemotherapy?

If you decide to stop chemotherapy, be sure you're still getting relief from symptoms such as pain, constipation, and nausea. This is called palliative care, and it's meant to improve your quality of life. Medications and other treatments, such as radiation, are part of palliative care.

Does Chemo shorten your life?

During the 3 decades, the proportion of survivors treated with chemotherapy alone increased (from 18% in 1970-1979 to 54% in 1990-1999), and the life expectancy gap in this chemotherapy-alone group decreased from 11.0 years (95% UI, 9.0-13.1 years) to 6.0 years (95% UI, 4.5-7.6 years).

How many days after chemo do you feel better?

The rule of thumb I usually tell my patients is that it takes about two months of recovery time for every one month of treatment before energy will return to a baseline. Everyone is different but at least this gives you a ballpark. This is a lot longer than most people assume.

Do eyebrows fall out with chemo?

Chemotherapy may cause hair loss all over your body — not just on your scalp. Sometimes your eyelash, eyebrow, armpit, pubic and other body hair also falls out.

Is chemotherapy always successful?

They think about which drugs to use and how many cycles of treatment are necessary. They also consider the possible side effects of treatment and take into account any of your other health issues. Even with these considerations, chemotherapy isn't always successful.

How do you feel after your first chemo treatment?

The day after your first treatment you may feel tired or very fatigued. Plan on resting, as this gives your body the chance to respond to the chemotherapy, and begin the recovery cycle. Remember that chemo affects every cell in your body. Stay well-hydrated by drinking lots of water or juice.

How do you survive chemo?

10 chemotherapy tips from cancer patients who've been there
  • Get some rest. ...
  • Stay hydrated. ...
  • Eat when you can. ...
  • Create a sense of normalcy in your routine. ...
  • Look to your support and care teams to have your back through treatment. ...
  • Keep things around that bring you comfort. ...
  • Stay ahead of your nausea. ...
  • Stay positive.
  • Why does chemo hurt so bad?

    The pain caused by chemotherapy is often described as a burning, numb, tingling, or shooting sensation. It tends to occur in the hands and feet. This is called neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is the result of damage to the nerves caused by chemotherapy drugs or, sometimes, the cancer itself.