What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is the utilization of medications to execute or slow the development of malignant growth cells. Chemotherapy drugs are additionally called cytotoxics, which implies noxious (poisonous) to cells (cyto). A portion of these medications are acquired from regular sources, for example, plants, while others are totally evolved in the lab. There are numerous sorts of chemotherapy drugs, which are regularly utilized in various mixes and at various qualities.
How does it work?
Most chemotherapy drugs enter the circulatory system and travel all through the body to arrive at malignant growth cells in various organs and tissues.
Chemotherapy drugs target and harm quickly separating cells, but since the medications are not malignant growth explicit, both disease cells and some ordinary cells are influenced. At the point when typical cells are harmed, this can cause reactions.
When your next treatment begins, your body's ordinary cells have generally recouped however the malignant growth cells have not. This is on the grounds that disease cells don't fix effectively, so they recoup more gradually than ordinary cells. This implies more malignant growth cells are annihilated with each treatment.
A few kinds of chemotherapy can be conveyed straightforwardly at the tumor site instead of going through the circulation system. Models are chemotherapy wafers for cerebrum malignant growth and chemoembolisation for liver disease. As the treatment is confined, reactions are less normal.
Why have chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy can be used for different reasons:
Hair Loss and Chemotherapy
What is hair loss and how is chemotherapy related?
- Believe it or not, hair loss (alopecia) due to chemotherapy is one of the most distressing side effects of chemo treatments.
- Hair loss happens because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, not just the cancer cells. The lining of the mouth, stomach, and the hair follicles are especially sensitive because those cells multiply rapidly just like the cancer cells. The difference is that the normal cells will repair themselves, making these side effects temporary.
- Hair loss does not occur with all chemotherapy. Whether or not your hair remains as it is, thins or falls out, depends on the drugs and dosages.
- Hair loss may occur as early as the second or third week after the first cycle of chemotherapy, although it may not happen until after the second cycle of chemotherapy.
- Hair loss can be sudden or slow.
- You may lose all of your hair or just some of it.
- Often it comes out in clumps rather than an even pattern.
- It is common for hair loss to include hair that grows anywhere including eyelashes, eyebrows, and even pubic hair.
As the years progressed, endeavors have been made to decrease going bald by utilizing tight groups or ice tops. While these methods may decrease going bald by diminishing blood stream to the scalp and constraining chemotherapy presentation to hair follicles, there is a hypothetical worry this could lessen the viability of treatment here.
What can be done to manage hair loss due to chemotherapy?
The executives of going bald spotlights on your own solace, or inconvenience with sparseness and on keeping your head warm on the off chance that you live in a cool atmosphere, just as insurance from the sun. Coming up next are alternatives to consider, the most ideal choice is the one that is generally agreeable for you:
Side effects of Chemo Therapy
Chemotherapy (chemo) is one of the treatment techniques for disease. The treatment approach slaughters destructive cells in the body or help expel/shrivel existing tumors. Chemo can be directed like an influenza shot, contingent upon your primary care physician's suggested treatment.
Chemo has its risks; the common side-effects of chemo include nausea, loss of appetite, hair loss, fatigue, fever and pain. There could be lasting side-effects such as memory loss, heart problems and risk of future cancer.
Fatigue and Pain
Chemotherapy can leave a person feeling extremely fatigued. A sore and painful throat, mouth or gums and problems with nerves, muscles, kidney, bladder and intestines are common in patients who pursue/ have pursued chemo.
Prepare yourself for depression and fatigue beforehand. Plan your day, drink lots of water, take naps and exercise to keep your energy levels up.Â
According to the National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse, the kidneys are responsible for processing more than 200 quarts of blood per day. Some chemotherapy drugs may cause damage to the kidneys and interfere with its function. Gradually, the kidneys may get damaged.
You need to drink plenty of fluids, especially just before a chemotherapy treatment, to prevent kidney issues. If you are not able to drink enough fluids, administer an IV drip of fluids.
Low Blood Count
You may have low-blood count after chemotherapy as the procedure can affect bone marrow functions. This can result in reduced production of red and white blood cells (anaemia and neutropenia).
Undergo a transfusion; both platelets and red blood cells can be transfused into a patient to treat low blood counts. Sometimes, treatment may need to be stopped which may give blood counts a chance to improve.
The chemo treatment kills all growing cells within the body- both cancerous as well as healthy cells. In a few days after beginning chemotherapy sessions, patients experience partial or entire hair loss suddenly. Some patients experience hair loss in other parts of the body as well, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes, legs, arms, underarm and pubic hair.
You need to treat your hair gently if you retain some or all of it. If you lose it, decide whether you want to shave your head and use a wig.
Many of the side-effects from chemo treatment are unexpected; one such effect is changes to the fingernails and toenails. It doesn’t often occur and but is as horrifying as hair loss. There can be forms of lines on the nail, discoloration of the nail bed and brittleness. Dry cuticles and the complete nail lifting off the nail bed are common too.
Discuss your nail changes with your oncologist. Keep your nails short, both fingers and toes. Carefully clip any hang nails with sterilized clippers.
There is a certainty of chemo drugs affecting your cognitive functions. A patient may have fuzzy thoughts, short-term memory loss and trouble recalling things. This condition is referred to as chemo-brain.
If you find it difficult to remember things, make a note of them. Slow yourself down, avoid making quick decisions and get organised.
Many female chemo patients report symptoms such as hot flushes and insomnia (similar to that of menopause). Owing to the reduced hormone production, they are at greater risk of temporary to permanent menopause.
The treatments such as hormone replacement therapy can help reduce the discomfort of symptoms experienced during menopause.
When you are receiving chemo, discuss the side effects of the treatment and its management with your doctor. Make a plan for coping with each one that may come up so you are not caught unaware.