Cancer is an important health and life problem that is growing in frequency in the world and in Turkey. Among life-threatening diseases, it ranks second after cardiovascular diseases. The most common cancers in our country are breast, thyroid, bowel, uterus and lung cancers in women and lung, prostate, bowel, bladder and stomach cancers in men.
Diagnosis and treatment of cancer should be carried out multidisciplinary with the cooperation of many specialties. One of these specialties, Medical Oncology, deals with the applications of chemotherapy, which means the treatment of cancer with medication. In the medical oncology departments of IstHealth Health Group oncology centers, chemotherapy, targeted smart drugs and molecules, hormone therapy and immunotherapy and biological treatments are carried out in cancer treatment. Unlike conventional chemotherapies, smart drugs, which aim to provide comfort today, are specially applied. Chemotherapy is used for preventive purposes to shrink the tumor before or after surgery, while it can also be preferred before, after, or both together with radiation therapy, which is one of the local treatment methods. Chemotherapy is a special specialty because it is performed with cytotoxic drugs. Drug therapy, which will be applied in effective doses, is also based on controlling side effects that may occur in the patient.
Treatment methods applied in the Department of Medical Oncology:
What Is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy means treating the tumor with medication. It is a very important part of tumor treatment along with surgery and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy kills tumor cells or tries to stop the growth of the tumor. Sometimes a single, sometimes several drugs are administered by various means.
By Whom Is Chemotherapy Administered?
The branch of science that deals with chemotherapy is called “Medical Oncology” or “medical oncology”, and the doctor who works in this field is called “Medical Oncologist (Medical Oncologist)”. Medical Oncology is a separate specialty; a medical oncologist is an internal medicine specialist specializing in tumor treatment. Tumor treatment is a team work and must be performed in centers where all members of this team are located. In this team, there should be a specialist surgeon related to tumor surgery, a radiation oncologist related to radiation therapy (radiotherapy), a medical oncologist related to chemotherapy and patient care (support therapy).
What Is The Purpose Of Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy can be applied for different reasons, such as the type of tumor and the characteristics of the patient.
To completely destroy the tumor and heal the patient,
To prevent the spread of the tumor,
To stop or slow the growth of the tumor,
Chemotherapy is used to destroy the symptoms caused by the tumor.
Although it is an effective treatment method, in some cases it cannot completely destroy the tumor and can only provide comfortable living by correcting its symptoms. Chemotherapy is the only treatment for some tumors. In others, chemotherapy is applied repeatedly or simultaneously with other treatments (surgery and radiation therapy). For example, chemotherapy can be performed to reduce the tumor before surgery, to prevent its spread after surgery. The same applications can be done before and after radiation therapy, as well as chemotherapy can be applied by various methods at the same time as radiation therapy.
How Long Is The Frequency And Duration Of Chemotherapy?
The duration and frequency of treatment depends on the chemotherapy scheme specifically selected according to the disease and the patient’s condition. Depending on the response obtained with treatment and the side effects that occur, the duration and frequency can be changed by the doctor. Generally, the most common breaks are 3 or 4 weeks, but in addition to some treatment schemes, there are applications once a week or every two weeks. The most important, even vital, point about the timing of chemotherapy is that the treatment is performed as regularly as possible and as timely as the side effects allow. When treatment intervals are extended unnecessarily, the tumor is at risk of regaining itself and gaining resistance to drugs and becoming stronger. In this way, the tumor continues to grow and spread, the chances of treatment success are reduced. Patients should definitely not go beyond their doctor’s recommendations on chemotherapy appointments.
Before stopping treatment for any reason, be sure to talk to your doctor about your problems and ask for help.
Be sure to follow the treatment days. Never change your treatment day on your own initiative on the grounds that you are not feeling well.
Be sure to take medications that you have to use at home.
Otherwise, it may be a promise to face treatment failures caused by incomplete treatment.
Where Is Chemotherapy Administered?
Chemotherapy should be applied in centers where people trained in this regard work. It should not be administered by any paramedic without the knowledge and permission of the doctor, absolutely in any hospital or home, without experience of chemotherapy.