History of Chemotherapy - In 1908, Ehrlich's search for antibacterial substances to combat syphilis, he discovered, with his collaborator Sahachiro Hata, Salvarsan or 606 (later named Neosalvarsan or 912), an arsenic compound used to treat syphilis and trypanosomiasis (or trypanosomosis).
What exactly is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals known as “cancer-killing drugs” in a therapeutic goal. In other words, chemotherapy consists of using powerful drugs to slow or kill cancer cells. In fact, among cancer therapies – surgical therapy, radiotherapy (radiation therapy), immunotherapy and hormone therapy - chemotherapy is
Types and purposes of chemotherapy - With advances in medical science, it is now possible to take chemotherapy in several forms: intramuscularly, subcutaneously, intravenously and by mouth. However, most chemotherapy drugs are taken intravenously (intravenous injection).
Chemotherapy is grouped into different therapeutic classes: Alkylating agents (also called DNA damaging agents), anti-metabolites, plant alkaloids and terpenoids, podophyllotoxin, taxanes, topoisomerase inhibitors, antitumour antibiotics, hormones, and monoclonal antibodies.
Chemotherapy can be taken by infusion or orally in the form of capsules, tablets or liquid; however, most of the time, chemotherapy is administered intravenously.
The dosage of a chemotherapy drug is not as easy as taking a Tylenol. Usually, oncologists base on several criteria - such as type of cancer, age, health status, your height and weight - to determine the dosage most able to combat the disease.
Chemotherapy drugs attack both cancer cells and healthy cells that multiply rapidly, mainly white blood cells. When there is a decrease in your white blood cells, your immune system becomes less able to fight against infection and other pathogenic attacks.
If you are undergoing chemotherapy the chance to not suffer its side effects is very minimal. Whether you are male or female, you have more chances to experience at least one of the adverse effects of chemotherapy:
Chemotherapy regimens are chemotherapeutic agents used in combination; they are represented as symbols or uniform letters. Chemotherapy regimens used by your physician vary depending on the stage of the cancer and the presence of receptors on the surface of tumor cells.
Some chemotherapy drugs, especially when used with radiotherapy, can cause dry mouth, which can lead had other oral problems: ulceration of the tongue or throat, bad breath, mucositis, fungal infections, altered taste, pain and even tooth loss.
A healthy and balanced diet can help your body fight against the illness, and thus increase the curative effects of the treatment. In fact, there is no good treatment without good nutrition.