Learn About Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a common conventional treatment used to treat many different cancer types. Listen to Dr. Rudolph Willis, Dr. Petra Ketterl, and Dr. Steven Standiford describe how chemotherapy works.
Dr. Rudolph Willis: We explain to our patients what chemotherapy is. The best way to describe it is really, a group of drugs that we use to kill the tumor preferentially, kill the tumor; and given several ways where usually in set time periods or given time periods, in set amounts based on patients weight and height for example. And the goal, hopeful is to kill tumor cells with these chemical agents and less likely cause effects on normal tissues.
Dr. Petra Ketterl: All cancer cells are faster growing than most other cells in your body. And so the chemotherapy actually targets the faster growing cells in your body including the Cancer cells. Chemotherapy usually involves either an I.V. infusion or a pill, but with the I.V. infusions you basically sit in our infusion center, so you have the nurses administer that to you, with some medications to keep you from getting sick. The more traditional Chemotherapy, not necessarily older which basically kills the tumor, the faster growing cells includes the tumor cells; by disrupting their reproduction basically. Then there are targeted therapies which are more anti-body related therapies that attach to the tumor cells and affecte in some way, either by cutting down on blood vessel supply or destroying it directly. Then there new vaccines that are working in a different way as well.
Dr. Steven Standiford: At Cancer Treatment Centers of America one of the important things we do for someone who is coming to us and is going on be going on to receive Chemotherapy is very early think about, how hard Chemotherapy can be on their veins. There devices we call them ports or veins access ports which are put in with a minor surgical procedure. Which allow us to give their Chemotherapy more safely because they don’t run the risk of hurting their veins. It’s also is much easier because you’re not poking and prodding with a needle to find a vein. I call it a guaranteed stick it’s a very easy devise to access.