Common Misconceptions About Chemotherapy

Due to its very intense side effects, hair loss, and other adverse repercussions, chemotherapy has long held a negative reputation among both cancer patients, and the general public, alike. To help educate patients about the facts of chemotherapy, the experts at your trusted Payson cancer treatment center are pleased to provide the following information on common chemo myths.


All Chemotherapy Is The Same


Many people believe that there is only one type of chemotherapy and that it can treat any and all cancers. Yet, this is not the case. There are many different chemotherapy drugs, all of which target various types of cancer. These types of chemo drugs each work in different ways, whether by shrinking tumors, relieving symptoms, or destroying cancer cells. In fact, not only are there different types of chemotherapy, each type is also administered in a different way. Chemo can be administered orally, topically, through injections, or in the classic way: through an infusion, although this is becoming less common.


Chemo Causes Severe Sickness & Infection


Chemotherapy treatments of the past used to cause very serious and sometimes life-threatening infections in patients, due to the suppression of the immune system during treatment. The body was not able to fight off sickness, resulting in illness and infection. However, this is not the case today. Rather than causing immunosuppression, chemo treatments today cause myelosuppression, which decreases bone marrow activity and results in less production of white and red blood cells, and platelets. Cancer patients today are not subjected to these life-threatening illnesses and don’t have to worry about their immune system during chemotherapy.


Chemo Always Causes Hair Loss


Contrary to popular belief, not all patients will experience hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. Some chemo drugs are more likely to cause patients to lose hair than others, and while it is common, hair loss is not a sign of whether or not the chemo is working. It is possible to experience no hair loss and still have a successful treatment.


Chemo Causes Nausea, Vomiting & Weight Loss


It is commonly believed that chemotherapy causes severe nausea and vomiting. While this is true of past treatments, it is no longer a high risk today. Many of today’s chemo drugs help prevent or lessen the severity of nausea and vomiting. In addition, patients undergoing chemo are more likely to gain weight, although not significantly, than to lose is as a result of treatment. This is especially true of breast cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy after surgery.


Your Payson Cancer Treatment Center


At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we are committed to restoring hope to our patients, no matter the diagnosis. We believe that knowing as much as possible about your cancer, and possible treatment options, is the first step toward healing. That’s why we’re always here to stand by your side, wherever your journey takes you. If you have any questions about Payson oncology, chemotherapy, or anything related to cancer treatment, we welcome you to contact us today. Or, schedule an appointment at your Payson cancer treatment center today. We look forward to helping you live the happy, healthy, and cancer-free life you deserve.

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