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Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Chemotherapy utilizes chemicals that interfere with the cell division
process - damaging proteins or DNA - so that cancer cells will commit
suicide. These treatments target any rapidly
dividing cells (not necessarily just cancer cells), but normal cells
usually can recover from any chemical-induced damage while cancer cells
cannot. Chemotherapy is generally used to
treat cancer that has spread or metastasized because the medicines
travel throughout the entire body. It is a necessary treatment for some
forms of leukemia and lymphoma.
Chemotherapy treatment occurs in cycles so the body has time to heal
between doses. However, there are still common side effects such as hair
loss, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting.
Combination therapies often include multiple types of chemotherapy or
chemotherapy combined with other treatment options.