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What is chemotherapy? My surgeon has told me that he removed the cancer. Why do I need chemotherapy? How does chemotherapy work? If I receive chemotherapy, will I be free of cancer for the rest of my life? How is chemotherapy administered? Do I have to go to the hospital to receive chemotherapy? Will chemotherapy make me sick? Will I lose my hair? How long does chemotherapy treatment take? Can I continue to take my vitamins, herbs and medicines prescribed by other doctors? Can I start or continue to exercise while receiving chemotherapy? How do I know if the chemotherapy treatments are working? Can I be with people who are ill while I am receiving chemotherapy? Should I be on a special diet? Will chemotherapy interfere with my dental treatments? Is it true that chemotherapy will make me very tired and that foods will taste terrible? Will I be able to have a baby during or after chemotherapy treatment? Is it safe to have sex during treatment? Can I safely use alternative therapies while undergoing chemotherapy?
What is chemotherapy? Chemotherapy involves the utilization of a variety of medications that can be given either orally or intravenously. The purpose of the chemotherapy is to either treat existing malignancy or hopefully prevent a malignancy from recurring. Chemotherapy is administered with different schedules and methodologies, depending upon the malignancy being treated and the types of drugs being given. Each of these different regimens can be associated with it's own set of side effects and toxicities. Why do I need chemotherapy? It would be more accurate if surgeons would say they have removed
In rare. Do I have to go to the hospital to receive chemotherapy? No. In fact. There are selective programs that do require hospitalization because of the intensity of the treatment programs or because of co-existing risk factors. in some instances. which have commonly been associated with chemotherapy. However. circumstances. Chemotherapy drugs are selected which are more selective for cancer cells than for normal cells. or lung disease that may make outpatient therapy too risky. Will I lose my hair? Hair loss associated with chemotherapy is entirely dependent upon the individual medication. there is no guarantee that chemotherapy will always prevent the regrowth of cancer. For most intense regimens. Fortunately. The purpose of giving chemotherapy in many cases is to attempt to eradicate malignancy that we can't see. The other factor is the type of drug being given. we unfortunately see late cancers develop as a consequence of chemotherapy. patient discomfort. if any. most chemotherapy regimens are given as an outpatient. the likelihood of a relapse becomes significantly smaller. However. However. renal. One depends upon the individual sensitivity of the individual patient. If I receive chemotherapy."all visible or detectable cancer". for many cancers. will I be free of cancer for the rest of my life? Unfortunately. How is chemotherapy administered? Chemotherapy can be administered by a variety of routes. once you have been cancer-free for five years. Will chemotherapy make me sick? Reactions to chemotherapy are dependent upon two primary factors. we know from experience that in some cases residual microscopic cancer may be present. there are very effective medications available to diminish the chances of developing nausea or vomiting. Your doctor and nurse will discuss with you the possibilities of hair loss. such as the lung or abdominal cavities. How long does chemotherapy treatment take? Chemotherapy treatments can last just a few minutes or as long as a week. How does chemotherapy work? Different drugs work by different mechanisms. the chemotherapy may be administered directly into a body cavity. the medications are given intravenously. such as heart. but underlying all the activity of the chemotherapy drugs is some propensity for the drug to interfere either with the growth or life cycle of the malignant cells. the majority of chemotherapy infusions and treatments are accomplished with very little. However. some chemotherapy drugs are very effective when given by intramuscular injection or orally in the form of pills or capsules. For the most part. most of the outpatient chemotherapy regimens are .
many of the malignancies that are being treated by themselves cause fatigue. you should continue with your regularly prescribed medicines. there are no special dietary requirements while undergoing chemotherapy. Can I be with people who are ill while I am receiving chemotherapy? In general. It is common to have alteration of taste while undergoing chemotherapy and many patients feel their food takes on a "metallic" taste. and is more of a cumulative effect. However.accomplished within a few hours. Can I continue to take my vitamins. If any restrictions on exercise. At times you may have a very low resistance to infection. Is this true? It is true that during the course of chemotherapy some patients will experience the onset of fatigue. each patient is going to differ in how their response to treatment will be measured. is dependent upon the drugs being administered and individual patient idiosyncrasies. many patients will not experience any fatigue at all. but this needs to be discussed with each patient on a case-by-case basis. Will chemotherapy interfere with my dental treatments? For the most part. or other activities are necessary. diet. if your white count becomes low. How do I know if the chemotherapy treatments are working? Response to treatment is generally measured by improvement in either measurable tumor masses or by improvement in blood tumor markers. these will be discussed with you on an individual basis. This. all elective dental procedures are best postponed until the chemotherapy is completed. it is best to avoid anyone who has an obvious illness. such as salads. If this does occur. this should be discussed with your doctor concerning the optimum timing of the dental procedures. if dental work needs to be accomplished. again. your physician may recommend that you avoid raw foods. However. x-rays. This generally occurs after multiple treatments rather than after the first one. that could be contaminated with bacteria. but for the most part this is accomplished by follow-up blood tests. My friends tell me that chemotherapy will make me very tired and that foods will taste terrible. it is a reversible process and recovers once chemotherapy is . Obviously. Can I start or continue to exercise while receiving chemotherapy? Patients are encouraged to continue to engage in active physical exercise and pursue their normal lifestyle as much as their disease and symptoms will allow. herbs and medicines prescribed by other doctors? Your physician will review your medications and make sure there are no problems related to conflicting drugs. and staying away from large crowds of people will be recommended. especially any respiratory infections such as a cold or influenza. and scans. Also. For the most part. However. Should I be on a special diet? Generally speaking.
suspended. While it is probable that alternative therapies will not interfere with treatment.M. This factsheet is for people who are planning to have chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer. Alternative therapies are not given in standardized fashion and the toxicities and problems associated with concurrent chemotherapy have not been defined. Is it safe to have sex during treatment? Unless special circumstances are present. Be sure to discuss this very important issue with your oncologist. or who would like information about it. there may be special circumstances where your oncologist may recommend that intimacy would be best postponed until the clinical situation has improved. July 2011. that is not a known fact. Chemotherapy Information Common questions Resources Published by Bupa’s Health Information Team. but certainly many patients do. There are more than 90 chemotherapy medicines available that can be used in a variety of ways according to the type of cancer. . However. the oncologist would prefer that you do not take alternative substances. Chemotherapy is a treatment to destroy cancer cells with medicines. be sure to notify your physician of the fact that you are taking alternative medications. For the most part. it is completely possible to have a healthy and normal sex life while receiving chemotherapy. Will I be able to have a baby during or after chemotherapy treatment? It is a general recommendation that women not become pregnant during the period of receiving active chemotherapy. and their effect when mixed with chemotherapy is not really known or understood. This is also true for many hormonal manipulations done for breast cancer. Can I safely use alternative therapies while undergoing chemotherapy? Alternative therapies are generally untested and unproven. This page was last modified on 03/13/2001 07:43:37 A. and if this is the situation in your case. how advanced it is and a person’s general health.
Your doctor will explain why you’re having chemotherapy and how to prepare for your treatment. Chemotherapy medicines can stop cancer cells dividing and reproducing. It’s used to treat solid tumours (cancerous lumps) affecting organs such as the breast or bowel. A dietitian. but cancer cells can’t and eventually die. Your healthy cells can repair the damage caused by chemotherapy. a number of different health professionals are involved in your treatment. how much it has . psychologist and physiotherapist may also be involved in your treatment.Your care may differ from what is described here as it will be designed to meet your individual needs. About chemotherapy Preparing for chemotherapy What happens during chemotherapy? Recovering from chemotherapy What are the risks? About chemotherapy Chemotherapy is used to destroy many different types of cancer at various stages. It’s important that you discuss your chemotherapy with your doctor. It can be used on its own or alongside other treatments such as radiotherapy. biological and immune therapies. surgery or hormonal. An oncologist (a doctor who specialises in cancer care) and a specialist nurse will usually oversee your chemotherapy. The length of your chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer you have. pharmacist. for example some cancers are very sensitive to chemotherapy treat cancer that has spread from where it first started The type of chemotherapy medicine you have will depend on a number of factors including: the type of cancer where the cancer started what the cancer cells look like under a microscope whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body your general health Preparing for chemotherapy In most hospitals. You may have chemotherapy to: shrink a cancer before surgery or radiotherapy stop a cancer coming back after surgery or radiotherapy treat a cancer on its own. as well as blood cancers such as leukaemia.
This is your opportunity to understand what will happen. some people may be able to have chemotherapy at home. However. whereas injections or infusions are usually given in hospital. severity of side-effects and how successful the treatment is. medicines are given to you through a drip into your bloodstream and can be given through: a small tube in a vein in your arm or the back of your hand a thin tube inserted through the skin of your chest into a main vein near your heart (central line) – this can be left in for many months so medicines can be injected through it a thin tube placed into a vein in the crook of your arm and threaded through until it’s in a vein near your heart (a PICC – peripherally inserted central catheter line) – this can also stay in place for many months . CT scan. These may include: blood and urine tests – to check your blood count (the number of various blood cells in your blood) and how well your kidneys and liver are working blood pressure checks an ECG or echocardiogram – to see how well your heart is working lung function tests – to see how well your lungs are working an X-ray. Most commonly chemotherapy is given through a drip into your bloodstream (intravenous chemotherapy) or as tablets or capsules that you swallow. during and after your chemotherapy. so you can give your consent for the treatment to go ahead. Your doctor will discuss with you what will happen before. during and after your chemotherapy. You can take chemotherapy tablets or apply creams at home. What happens during chemotherapy? Chemotherapy medicines can be given to you in different ways. types of medicine used.spread through your body. This will help you to be informed. Other ways of having chemotherapy medicines include: injections into the area around your spinal cord (intrathecal injection) injections into a muscle – usually your thigh or buttocks (intramuscular injection) injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection) injections into an affected body cavity such as your bladder (intracavity chemotherapy) creams for skin cancers If you’re having intravenous chemotherapy. benefits and any alternatives to chemotherapy. You may have a number of tests before. which you may be asked to do so by signing a consent form. or MRI scan Your height and weight may also be checked to work out the right dose of chemotherapy for you. and you can help yourself by preparing questions to ask about the risks.
which could be anything from a few days to several weeks. a thin tube put into a vein ending in an opening (port) just under the skin on your arm or chest (called an implantable port or ‘portcath’) – medicines are passed via needles through the port an infusion pump – this is a portable pump that attaches to a PICC line or a central line and feeds in the correct dose of chemotherapy over a period of time Chemotherapy will usually be given as several sessions. Your doctor will explain the treatment to you. Treatment and rest periods make up a cycle. Recovering from chemotherapy Your doctor or nurse will advise you on what to expect after chemotherapy and the side-effects you may have. cells that produce hair and those lining your mouth and digestive system. This includes those in your bone marrow and skin. You may have a number of cycles depending on how well your cancer is responding to chemotherapy. mouth ulcers or changes in your sense of taste numbness or ‘pins and needles’ in your hands and feet breathlessness . Side-effects Side-effects are the unwanted but mostly temporary effects of a successful treatment. Some people manage to continue with their lives as usual during and after chemotherapy. Chemotherapy doesn’t only target cancer cells. You will then have a rest period. In particular. Take things at your own pace and don’t overdo it. but any cells that divide rapidly. We have not included the chance of these happening as they are specific to you and differ for every person. Ask your doctor to explain how these risks apply to you. to allow your body to recover. However. including: tiredness feeling sick or vomiting diarrhoea thinning of hair or hair loss sore mouth. tiredness often prevents people from working full-time or doing their usual levels of physical activity. These may take between 30 minutes and a few hours at a time. for most people chemotherapy can have an impact on everyday life. A small number of people even feel better as the symptoms of their cancer decrease. Damage to these healthy cells may produce possible side-effects. particularly after you have just had treatment (see our common questions for more information). What are the risks? There are some risks associated with chemotherapy.
embryos. It’s important that you discuss these risks with your doctor before you start the treatment. Most Cancer Patients Die of Chemotherapy Andreas Moritz. Some chemotherapy medicines can affect your fertility. In 2005. sickness can be reduced by taking antisickness medicines alongside your chemotherapy. July 23. such as sickness and diarrhoea. Snow underwent surgery to remove a growth in his abdominal area. “This is a very treatable . For example. following a series of chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer. Your doctor will be able to give you more information about this. Many side-effects can be controlled using other medicines. Different chemotherapy medicines cause different side-effects. can make the contraceptive pill less effective. Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Your doctor will discuss the possible side-effects of your specific treatment with you. For some women it brings on early menopause. The side-effects of chemotherapy. 2008 Former White House press secretary Tony Snow died in July 2008 at the age of 53. You may be offered the opportunity to store eggs. Women shouldn’t try to become pregnant during treatment because the chemotherapy medicines may damage a developing baby. Treatment with certain chemotherapy medicines can slightly increase your risk of developing a type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia in later life. near the site of the original cancer. Two years later (2007). ovarian tissue or sperm for future fertility treatment (see our common questions for more information). Your risk of developing leukaemia years later will vary depending on how much chemotherapy you have. skin changes – your skin may become dry or discoloured changes in hearing – some people get tinnitus (a ringing sound in your ears) Side-effects vary greatly between the different types of chemotherapy and from person to person. so it’s important to discuss your specific treatment with your doctor.
In actual fact. Ocean was dead wrong. cannot function anymore? Before Tony Snow began his chemo-treatments for his second colon cancer. Cancer doesn’t do such a thing. He actually looked more ill than someone who has been bitten by a poisonous snake. because of the therapies we have. Nobody seems to raise the important point that it is extremely difficult for a cancer patient to actually heal from this condition while being subjected to the systemic poisons of chemotherapy and deadly radiation. Now unable to heal the causes of the original cancer (in addition to the newly created ones). “Many patients. isn’t it likely that your body becomes overwhelmed by the poison and.” But of course we now know. but chemical poisoning does.Buy Flowers Online condition. Apparently. thus perpetuating the myth that it is only the cancer that kills people. not the treatment. If you are bitten by a poisonous snake and don’t get an antidote for it. therefore. The mainstream media. Did the cancer do all this to him? Certainly not. are able to work and live full lives with quality while they're being treated. Does the mainstream media ever report about the overwhelming scientific evidence that shows . the colon surgery severely restricted his normal eliminative functions. he still looked healthy and strong. Dr. the malignant cancer had “returned” (from where?) and “spread” to the liver and elsewhere in his body. The media headlines proclaimed Snow died from colon cancer. and also impaired his immune system -a perfect recipe for growing new cancers. he started to develop a coarse voice. looked frail. although they knew he didn’t have a colon anymore. still insist Snow died from colon cancer. Anyone who looks at this as a death sentence is wrong. of course. But after a few weeks into his treatment. thereby overburdening the liver and tissue fluids with toxic waste.” said Dr. Allyson Ocean. turned gray and lost his hair. The previous series of chemo-treatments inflamed and irreversibly damaged a large number of cells in his body. a gastrointestinal oncologist at Weill Cornell Medical College. Snow’s body developed new cancers in the liver and other parts of the body.
M. colon or lung cancers.. Yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumors. Northern Sydney Cancer Centre. By comparison. With a meager success rate of 2.000 to . a mere 2. Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast.D.] The research covered data from the Cancer Registry in Australia and the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results in the USA for the year 1998. is one of the greatest fraudulent acts ever committed.3% in Australia and 2. Australia.” [Royal North Shore Hospital Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2005 Jun. showed startling results: The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2...3%. The current 5-year relative adult survival rate for cancer in Australia is over 60%. The average chemotherapy earns the medical establishment a whopping $300.17(4):294. “Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. for good reasons.3% contribution of chemotherapy to cancer survival does not justify the massive expense involved and the tremendous suffering patients experience because of severe.” . into the contribution of chemotherapy to 5-year survival in 22 major adult malignancies.Alan Levin. toxic side effects resulting from this treatment.000 each year. selling chemotherapy as a medical treatment (instead of a scam). and no less than that in the USA.chemotherapy has zero benefits in the five-year survival rate of colon cancer patients? Or how many oncologists stand up for their cancer patients and protect them against chemotherapy treatment which they very well know can cause them to die far more quickly than if they received no treatment at all? Can you trustingly place your life into their hands when you know that most of them would not even consider chemotherapy for themselves if they were diagnosed with cancer? What do they know that you don't? The news is spreading fast that in the United States physician-caused fatalities now exceed 750. Perhaps. This fact has been documented for over a decade. An investigation by the Department of Radiation Oncology. many doctors no longer trust in what they practice.1% in the USA. Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemo than without it..
Ulrich Abel from the Tumor Clinic of the University of Heidelberg.$1.S. given the enormous vested interests of the groups that sponsor the media.000 each year. that is. the pharmaceutical companies.” Abel points out that chemotherapy rarely improves the quality of life. thus making it unacceptable. neither doctor nor patient is willing to give up on it. He also reviewed and analyzed thousands of scientific articles published in the most prestigious medical journals. Abel contacted 350 medical centers and asked them to send him anything they had ever published on chemotherapy. 1991 in The Lancet. It’s no surprise that the medical establishment tries to keep this scam alive for as long as possible. It took Abel several years to collect and evaluate the data. even though it was published in 1990. The truth of the matter would be far too costly for the pharmaceutical industry to bear. the highly respected German epidemiologist. which is hardly surprising. including chemotherapy drugs.000. In his paper. I believe this is not because his work was unimportant -but because it is irrefutable. conducted the most comprehensive investigation of every major clinical study on chemotherapy drugs ever done. are used to practically commit genocide in the U. He describes chemotherapy as “a scientific wasteland” and states that even though there is no scientific evidence that chemotherapy works. The mainstream media has never reported on this hugely important study. In 1990.” According to this report. and the . there was no scientific evidence available in any existing study to show that chemotherapy can “extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancers. Abel’s epidemiological study. which was published on August 10. Dr. If the mass media reported the truth that medical drugs. should have alerted every doctor and cancer patient about the risks of one of the most common treatments used for cancer and other diseases. and has so far earned those who promote this pseudo-medication (poison) over 1 trillion dollars. A recent search turned up exactly zero reviews of Abel’s work in American journals. Abel came to the conclusion that the overall success rate of chemotherapy was “appalling.
the body can still cure itself. you can live with an untreated tumor for just as long as you would with one that has been shrunken or been eliminated by chemotherapy (or radiation). And sometimes. By contrast. Unfortunately. the chances for a real cure are greatly reduced when patients are treated with chemotherapy drugs. Cancer is more a healing response than it is a disease. refer to the FDA’s definition of an “effective” drug. Many doctors go as far as prescribing chemotherapy drugs to patients for malignancies that are far too advanced for surgery. it is just common sense that a drug that makes them throw up and lose their hair. magazines. The side effects of the treatment can be horrendous and heartbreaking for both patients and their loved ones. of course. which it actually tries to do by developing cancer. But neither group wants to go bankrupt. one which achieves a 50% or more reduction in tumor size for 28 days. In other words. They neglect to tell their patients that there is no correlation whatsoever between shrinking tumors for 28 days and curing the cancer or extending life. is doing the exact opposite. their best sponsors (the pharmaceutical companies) would have to withdraw their misleading advertisements from the television media. with the full knowledge that there are no benefits at all. this healing response continues even if a person is subjected to chemotherapy (and/or radiation). Chemo-therapy can give the patient lifethreatening mouth sores. all in the name of trustworthy medical treatment. Although the drug treatment comes with the promise to improve the patient’s quality of life. while wrecking their immune system. and newspapers. The “disease” is the body’s attempt to cure itself of an existing imbalance. It attacks the immune system by destroying billions of immune cells (white blood . Temporary tumor shrinkage through chemotherapy has never been shown to cure cancer or to extend life.world. and their unsuspecting patients believe that “effective” equals “cure.” The doctors. Yet they claim chemotherapy to be an effective cancer treatment. Chemotherapy has never been shown to have curative effects for cancer. as the previously mentioned research has demonstrated. radio stations.
the reason chemotherapy can shrink some tumors is because it causes massive destruction in the body. Before committing themselves to being poisoned. Its deadly poisons inflame every part of the body. there can be no joy and no hope. To promote chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer is misleading.cells). brain diseases. The sad thing is that chemotherapy does not cure 96% to 98% of all cancers anyway. Chemo-caused fatigue has a negative impact on day-to-day activities in 89% of all patients. you may think that feeling tired is just part of the disease. The drugs can slough off the entire lining of their intestines. Remember. Feeling unusually tired is more likely due to anemia. have an up to four times higher remission rate than those who receive treatment. infections. intestinal diseases.a physical death without dying. but they hardly reduce the immensely destructive and suppressive effect of the chemotherapy itself. cancer . Conclusive evidence (for the majority of cancers) that chemotherapy has any positive influence on survival or quality of life does not exist. to say the least. a common side effect of most chemotherapy drugs. All of this may explain why cancer patients who do not receive any treatment at all. One long-term side effect is that these patients' bodies can no longer respond to nutritional or immunestrengthening approaches to cancerous tumors. The most common side effect experienced among chemo patients is their complete lack of energy. diseases of the immune system. By permanently damaging the body’s immune system and other important parts. liver disease. and rapid aging. pain disorders. This rarely is the case. The new additional drugs now given to many chemo patients may prevent the patient from noticing some of the side effects. and this reduces oxygen availability to the 60-100 trillion cells of your body. Chemo drugs can dramatically decrease your red blood cell levels. You can literally feel the energy being zapped from every cell of your body -. With no energy. and all bodily functions become subdued. If you have cancer. chemo-therapy has become a leading cause of treatment-caused diseases such as heart disease.
Subjecting patients to chemotherapy robs them of a fair chance of finding or responding to a real cure and deserves criminal prosecution.patients need to question their doctors and ask them to produce the research or evidence that shrinking a tumor actually translates to any increase in survival. there is no such evidence anywhere to be found in the medical literature. you will know they are lying or are simply misinformed. If they tell you that chemotherapy is your best chance of surviving. All rights reserved. . As Abel’s research clearly demonstrated. Back to top ACMA Home | ACMA Treatment | ACMA Cancer Treatment | Contact Us | Fudan University Copyright © 2011 American Chinese Medicine Association (ACMA).
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