1. Is chemotherapy painful?
No, treatment with anticancer drugs rarely causes pain. Rarely, when injected, anticancer drugs may leak out of the blood vessels and cause pain. In this case, you should consult a doctor immediately.
2. How often and how long should chemotherapy be given?
If you consider only the anti-cancer effect, it would be a good idea to administer the anti-cancer agent as often as possible. However, anticancer drugs are also toxic to normal cells, so if administered too often, they have a large impact on normal organs, and as a result the patient is unbearable. Therefore, anticancer drugs are administered according to a schedule that patients can tolerate and have the best anticancer effects.
The duration and frequency of chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer, the type of anticancer drug, and the response of each patient to treatment. In general, supplemental chemotherapy or conventional chemotherapy given by intravenous injection is often administered 4 to 6 times with a single complex chemotherapy every 3-4 weeks. In some cases, however, the patient’s condition is determined after 2-3 anticancer drugs have been treated, and the patient is switched to another anticancer drug or discontinued. The reason for administering anticancer drugs every 3-4 weeks is that side effects such as leukopenia appear most severe on the 10-14th day after treatment, and most patients return to normal after 3-4 weeks of administration. However, treatment may be performed at intervals of 1 or 2 weeks depending on the type of drug and stage.
3. Can I use folk remedies while receiving chemotherapy?
It is not recommended to use it in parallel. There may be interactions between drugs and drugs. In other words, some medicines affect the metabolism of other medicines in the body, reducing or increasing their effectiveness, which may increase side effects. If the drug component of folk remedies is analyzed and the interaction between the drug and anticancer drugs is known, it may be possible to distinguish between drugs that are beneficial for treatment and those that are not. At the moment, little is known about the components of folk remedies and their interactions with other drugs. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid using anti-cancer drugs along with herbal and folk remedies.
4. Should I refrain from eating certain foods while undergoing chemotherapy?
In general, it is not necessary. You need a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Cancer is a wasting disease and chemotherapy also burns calories and protein. Therefore, there are reports that cancer patients receiving chemotherapy need 50% more protein and 20% more calories than normal people. In addition, as side effects of cancer and anti-cancer chemotherapy have decreased appetite and food intake, it is necessary to prevent weight loss by paying more attention to food intake. There is no basis for saying that meat should be avoided. However, if the resistance to chemotherapy is low, there is a higher risk of infection of the bacteria through food than normal people. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid raw foods and eat cooked foods when the white blood cells decrease. In addition, alcohol affects the metabolism of drugs, including anticancer drugs, so avoid drinking alcohol while you are on anticancer drugs.
5. How can I take other medications while I am on chemotherapy?
Some medications may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy, so you should tell your doctor about any medications you are already using. You should also tell me about the names, dosages, how often you use them, and why you use them, as well as medicines like colds, painkillers, and vitamins, as well as blood pressure medications, antithrombotics, and drugs for arrhythmia. Your doctor will tell you if there are any medications you need to reduce or stop.
6. Can I work while undergoing chemotherapy?
Of course you can work. You don’t have to quit or move your job because you need chemotherapy. You can also adjust your treatment plan to work with your doctor. However, while undergoing chemotherapy, it is advisable to avoid hard work such as manual labor.
7. Do I have to be hospitalized to get anti-cancer drugs?
Some drugs require hospitalization and treatment depending on the type of anticancer drug, the method of administration, and the stage of the cancer. However, nowadays, there are increasing treatments for out-of-hospital anticancer drugs. If you are treated in an outpatient setting, visit an outpatient room for a day or a few days to receive an anticancer drug and return home.
8. How can I know the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy?
Several methods are used to determine how effective chemotherapy is. Frequent physical examinations, blood tests, tumor marker tests, X-ray photography, CT, MRI, PET, and more. If you want to know the results of treatment, do not hesitate to contact a medical staff.