How Long Can a Person Get Chemotherapy (And Why)?

Exact answer: 3 to 6 months

Chemotherapy refers to the drugs that are traditionally used to treat cancer. Cancer is caused by abnormal cells rapidly growing and dividing chemotherapy drugs work mainly by attacking rapidly dividing cells both cancerous and healthy. They block cell division in some way and this causes cells to die.

These three types of chemotherapy alkylating agents antimetabolites implant alkaloids. Each class damages cells differently alkylating agents work by attaching to the DNA helix and preventing DNA from uncoiling.

How Long To Get Chemotherapy?

This blocks DNA replication the cell cannot divide it and it dies examples of these drugs are cyclophosphamide koran Basel and nitrogen mustard alkylating agents are used to treat lymphomas, leukemias, breast prostate, and other cancers antimetabolites are drugs that masquerade as building blocks of DNA or as other vital cell molecules.

Some prevent DNA from replicating properly thereby killing the cell.

For example- 5-fluorouracil or 5-fu prevent cells from making the DNA building block called thymine. When the cells run short of thymine. It cannot replicate its DNA when it tries to divide and dies by self-destructing a process called apoptosis.

Plant alkaloids are chemotherapy drugs that prevent cells from assembling microtubules are fiber-like structures that pull the set of chromosomes into each daughter cell.

During division without microtubules, cell division cannot be completed until the cell dies. Examples of these drugs include vinblastine and vincristine. A patient’s cancer will generally develop resistance to a chemotherapy  drug when just one is used alone for this reason doctors treat patients with combinations of two or more chemotherapy  drugs that work differently to kill cancer cells and delay the development of drug resistance.

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Chemo is a strong medicine that kills cancer cells. Many kinds of chemo are given through an IV line into a vein called an injection or infusion through some chemo may be taken as a pill.

Chemotherapy course takes 3 to 6 months
Adjuvant chemotherapy may last 4 to 6 months

Why Does It Longer To Take Chemotherapy?

Treatments should begin other treatments such as radiation targeted therapy or immunotherapy may be given along with chemo where do people go to get treatments. Chemo is usually given in an outpatient clinic. Some treatments require a hospital stay and certain types can be taken at home. Different chemo drugs work in different ways but chemo is often given in cycle. A cycle is a period of treatment followed by a period of rest.

For example- you might receive chemo once a week for four weeks or a few days per week followed by a rest period. The rest period in between your body a chance to recover.

There are some common side effects such as nausea or vomiting, hair loss, constipation, fatigue fever, low blood cell. After your physician has prescribed a chemotherapy treatment for you. You will sit down with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant for a visit called the chemotherapy educational session.

During this visit which is 40 minutes. The first day is almost the most nerve-wracking, and there will be blood work before each treatment because treatment will affect your blood. They will also bring your vitals signs or any symptoms. Chemotherapy is a drug taken by mouth.

Chemotherapy is a drug taken by mouth or through your vein, it treats cancer by interfering with the growth of cells that causes the disease some treatments also affect normal cell growth which is why you have side effects, your treatments have been personalized from your body and your form of cancer treatments can last from 15minutes to several hours depending on the type of drugs you receive until you start your treatment. You will not know how your body will respond to the medication.

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The most common side effects associated with chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting constipation diarrhea dehydration fatigue ulcers hair loss and low blood counts please refers to the new patient packet for specific information on each of these possible side effects as well as helpful hints on how to manage your symptoms, the packets also the include pieces of information on the steps to take at home at help protect your loved ones from beings exposed to the drugs that remain in your system for up to 48 hours after treatment.

Conclusion

If you experience any severe symptoms include fever over hundred points five-degree intense chills bleeding or unexpected bruising signs of a cold or upper respiratory tract infection difficulty breathing problems urinating significant changes in your bowel towel habits including black tarry stools blood in your stool difficulty passing stools are going more than three days without a bowel movement other symptoms may include diarrhea that lasts more than two days.

Chemotherapy can be an outpatient treatment most people can drive themselves to appointments however there is a certain situation when a driver is needed this depends on the type of drugs you receive.

References

  1. https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/68/21/8643.short
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/35073673