WHY SHOULD I GET CHEMOTHERAPY? IS IT IMPORTANT FOR ME TO GET CHEMOTHERAPY? WHY SHOULD I GO THROUGH SO MUCH PAIN? CAN I SURVIVE THE CHEMOTHERAPY? These are the questions people diagnosed with breast cancer ask. Because when they see other cancer patients going through the agony of chemotherapy they don’t want it which is very natural human behavior and there is nothing odd about it. But it is important to know that why you should definitely get chemotherapy inspite of its side effects. WHAT IS CHEMOTHERAPY? Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body. The chemicals can be injectable or oral and serve many purposes.
- To cure the cancer without other treatments.Chemotherapy can be used as the primary or sole treatment for cancer.
- After other treatments, to kill hidden cancer cells.Chemotherapy can be used after other treatments, such as surgery, to kill any cancer cells that might remain in the body. Doctors call this adjuvant therapy.
- To prepare you for other treatments.Chemotherapy can be used to shrink a tumor so that other treatments, such as radiation and surgery, are possible. Doctors call this neoadjuvant therapy.
- To ease signs and symptoms.Chemotherapy may help relieve signs and symptoms of cancer by killing some of the cancer cells. Doctors call this palliative chemotherapy.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY Common side effects of chemotherapy drugs include:
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth sores
- Easy bruising
Late side effects vary depending on the chemotherapy drug but can include:
- Damage to lung tissue
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
- Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
- Risk of a second cancer
IS IT WORTH IT? Getting chemotherapy is totally worth it. Because the pain and side effects in 70% cases are temporary and are resolved once you are done with chemotherapy. If your treatment is successful you can enjoy a healthy long life. On the other hand if you refuse to get chemotherapy then the cancer will rapidly spread in your body and once it does there is no cure. There is no treatment or drug that can relieve that kind of pain and severe symptoms. It’s true that chemotherapy doesn’t guarantee a cure but it still gives a possibility and a 93% chance of survival if followed by early detection. Will and hope are the two main defence systems against cancer and chemotherapy may weaken your will at some point but you should remind yourself that the hope of a healthier and better life lies on the other side of chemo.