Chemotherapy Can Be Used In People With Cancer

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a form of chemical drug therapy that inhibits the growth of rapidly dividing harmful cells. It is a type of treatment that is given to eradicate the cancerous growth of cells. This cancer treatment makes use of one or more anti-cancer drugs which is given with an intention of curing the disease.

A doctor who is a specialist in the treatment of cancer is called an oncologist.

Chemotherapy is usually carried out along with other therapies like surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. This is decided by the stage and type of cancer a patient has.

Chemotherapy involves chemicals that kill fast-growing cancer cells in our body.

There are various types of scenarios where chemotherapy can be used in people with cancer.

  1. Chemotherapy is the sole treatment that is used to cure cancer.
  2. Chemotherapy is used to treat patients who had undergone other treatments like surgery. This is done to eradicate or kill cancer cells which may be remaining in the body. This is known as adjuvant chemotherapy.
  3. Chemotherapy can also be used to shrink a malignant tumour and this will enable other treatments like radiation and surgery to be carried out. This is called as neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
  4. Chemotherapy is given to patients to help in relieving symptoms of cancer by killing some of the cancer cells. This is known as palliative chemotherapy. 

Apart from cancer, chemotherapy is also used to treat other conditions like to cure diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, chemotherapy is used to treat diseases that effect the bone marrow.

Side effects of chemotherapy drugs

Each drug has a specific side effect. The common side effects of chemotherapy drugs are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, constipation, pain, and fever.

These side effects can be treated. These side effects decrease after treatment.

The different ways of giving chemotherapy to the patients.

  1. Chemotherapy infusions: Chemotherapy is most often given intravenously that is it is given into the vein in the arm or into a device in a vein in the chest.
  2. Chemotherapy drugs can be given in the form of pills or capsule.
  3. Chemotherapy shots: Chemotherapy drugs can be injected with a needle.
  4. Chemotherapy creams. Chemotherapy drugs can be applied to the skin to treat skin cancer.

Aside from treatment for cancer, chemotherapy is also used to treat people who undergo a bone marrow stem cell transplantation. 

Bone marrow transplantation is a procedure that is carried out to replace the bone marrow that has been damaged by infection, disease or chemotherapy.

This procedure consists of transplanting blood stem cells that move to the bone marrow and grow into new blood cells and enhance the growth of new marrow.

 There are many specialists in this field of bone marrow transplantation. In India, one of the pioneers in bone marrow transplantation is Dr Suresh Advaniwho is an oncologist from Jaslok Hospital.

Dr Suresh H. Advani is an oncologist who was one of the first surgeons to carry out a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Dr. Suresh H. Advani was struck by polio at the tender age of 8. He completed his MBBS degree and MD from Grant Medical College at Mumbai. This wheelchair-bound doctor then worked at Tata Memorial Center for several years as an oncologist. 

Dr. Suresh Advani became the Chief of Medical Oncology at the Tata Memorial Hospital. He also started the Oncology Department at Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. He is the chief medical and paediatric oncologist and haemato-oncologist at Jaslok Hospital.

Dr. Suresh Advani is the Director of the Oncology Depatment at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center in Mumbai. Jaslok Hospital is situated at Peddar Road, South Mumbai facing the Arabian Sea. 

Dr. Suresh Advani got the opportunity to work with Nobel laureate Dr. E Donnall Thomas, who is known as the father of bone marrow transplantation in the United States of America.

Dr. Suresh Advani is the recipient of Padma Bhushan award, the country’s third-highest civilian award in the year 2012 by the Indian Government. He was also honoured with Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award in the year 2002 by the Indian Government. He was also awarded the Dhanwanthri Award for excellence in the field of medicine.

Dr. Suresh Advani had to face hostility when he applied for an admission to medicine at Grant Medical College. He was rejected as they were not willing to admit a “crippled” person. Dr. Suresh Advani was not going to give up that easily. He wrote to the hospital authorities, ministers and others, asking for their intervention in this issue. Finally, Grant Medical College gave him the permission to pursue MBBS as a day scholar. 

Dr. Advani is a hard worker. Being physically challenged does not stop him from executing his duties as a doctor. He is constantly on the move that is if he is in one hospital in the morning then he will be in another hospital in the evenings. His achievements are an inspiration to many doctors, patients and people who know him. His dedication and passion towards his work has made him one of the best oncologists in the world.

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