Chemotherapy - Pros and Cons
In early- stage cancer, surgery is performed with the intention of curing the disease. This is often follwed by chemotherapy to reduce the risks of recurrence.
In the case of advanced-stage cancer, the aim of treatment is to control the cancer by controlling the symptoms. This enhances survival and ensures a better quality of life.
There are disadvantages as well-
Several side-effects arise due to chemotherapy that can cause a lot of discomfort to the patient. This may be discussed with the doctor. There are several medications available that control these symptoms.
Some people may not benefit from the treatment but will not be spared the side-effects. Such people are usually put on palliative care.
The patient may be required to travel to a distant place to get treated.
Although the majority of the chemotherapy drugs can be administered to an individual as a day patient at the hospital, some treatments will require hospitalization.
The treatment may not improve the overall prognosis of the cancer and may not necessarily increase the life span of a person.
Sometimes the quality of life detoriates when on palliative chemotherapy and if it is unlikley to improve the life span, one needs to ask if it is worth taking the treatment.
Some chemotherapy regimen can lead to death in a small group of patients and one needs to understand these grave consequences before starting the treatment.