No one wants to be told they have cancer. And nothing can prepare you for the roller coaster of emotions that hits you when you are first diagnosed – the shock, confusion, numbness, fear, anger and uncertainty shake you to your core.
It’s all so much to take in. No one deserves cancer, but sadly it’s a fact of life. According to the American Cancer Society approx. 1.6 million new cases were reported just last year alone and cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.
Many Cancers Are Treatable
Fortunately, many cancers are treatable. You may have heard of chemotherapy, do you really understand it? Considering it may be one of your treatment options, it is about time you did. Most people know very little about chemotherapy other than it is a cancer treatment and it causes your hair to fall out. Whereas, this may be partly true – there is a lot more to know.
Types of Cancer Treatments Available
- Proton Therapy
- Stem-cell Transplant
It Takes A Village
Each type of treatment is administered by an Oncology Specialist. For chemotherapy you have a Medical Oncologist, for radiation therapy you have a Radiation Oncologist and for surgery you have a Surgical Oncologist or General Surgeon. More often than not, you will undergo more than one type of cancer treatment and all three oncologists work together to provide you with the best possible care.
What is Chemotherapy?
To put it simply, chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer.
Most chemotherapy used today include cytotoxic drugs that work by targeting rapidly dividing cells – not specifically cancer cells. Since cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide rapidly cytotoxic drugs have proven effective to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells – even shrink cancerous tumors.
Because cytotoxic drugs target rapidly dividing cells indiscriminately they can damage or disrupt the function of normal cell division specifically the cells that divide regularly in your blood/bone marrow, the mucosal cells in your mouth and intestines and your hair follicles. The attack on your hair follicles is what causes the most visible side effect, hair loss.
Chemotherapy is usually administered through an IV drip or portable pump but it can also be taken orally as a pill, as a cream or injection.
No two treatments are exactly the same because no two cancers are exactly alike. That’s why chemotherapy treatment is different for everyone. Chemotherapy treatment can last anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 months depending on the type and severity of cancer. Some cancers respond better to chemotherapy than others.
FIND A TOP10MD ONCOLOGIST NEAR YOU
There are hundreds of Oncologists practicing Radiation and Medical Oncology to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Radiation and Medical Oncology takes the skill and finesse of an experienced Oncologist. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Oncologists – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.
For your peace of mind, Top10MD Oncologists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.