Colorectal cancer, or also known as colon cancer or rectal cancer, happens when cancer attacks the colon or the rectum. The cancer cells usually originate from the inner lining of either the colon or the rectum and grows outward to the outer layers over time. Once in the wall, it’s possible that the cancer cells may grow into blood vessels and travel to other parts of the body. To combat this, there are colorectal cancer medications available to patients.
For this kind of therapy, colorectal cancer medications are used to eliminate the cancer cells in the body. This process often ends the ability of the cancer cells to grow and multiply further.
There are two methods of subjecting a patient to chemotherapy: one is through an intravenous tube to allow the medication to enter the body directly through the blood stream, and the other is by orally ingesting pills or capsules.
There are different types of chemotherapy medication, and it depends on the type of cancer that the patient has. For colorectal cancer, antimetabolite drug is commonly used. Anti-tumor antibiotics can also be used to treat many kinds of cancers.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
The drugs used for chemotherapy are powerful since they were manufactured specifically to combat and eliminate cancer cells. As such, there are several known side effects to taking these drugs and it can affect more than one body part or system of the patient.
These effects also vary depending on the patient’s age, overall health, and the kind of chemotherapy the patient has been subjected to.
During chemotherapy, the most vulnerable body parts are the digestive tract, hair follicles, the bone marrow, the mouth, and the reproductive system. This is why the most common side effects are hair loss, diarrhea, and mouth sores.
Chemotherapy can also affect the circulatory and immune system, causing the patient to feel easily tired or fatigued, nauseated, and even become anemic. Patients feel generally weak and possibly become more sickly than usual because it can also lower the white blood cells in the body, which are mainly responsible for fighting sickness and infections.
The nervous and muscular system can also be affected, which will result in muscle pain and weakness. It’s also possible that motor skills will become slower, leading to some difficulty when it comes to balance and overall coordination.
If the patient experiences severe and difficult side effects, doctors can lower the dosage of the chemotherapy medication to make it more bearable. It’s important that patients communicate to their doctors what they feel and experience during medication. The good news is that once treatment is done, the side effects will subside and eventually go away.
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