A Answers (2)
Johns Hopkins Medicine answeredChemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells. The oncologist will recommend a treatment plan for each individual. Chemotherapy may be given before other treatments, after other treatments, or alone for lung cancer.
Chemotherapy uses chemical agents to kill cancer cells. Given by a medical oncologist, most chemotherapy used for lung cancer is injected into a patient's vein. This method is referred to as intravenous, or IV injection. These agents are effective at killing cancer cells, but can also cause side effects that can include nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
Chemotherapy may also damage normal cells in the body including skin, blood, and nerve cells. Low blood counts, increased risk of infection, hair loss, mouth sores, and/or numbness or tingling in the hands and feet can are common side effects. Various treatments prescribed by your oncologist can minimize many of these side effects. For instance, blood growth factor injections are used to keep white and red blood cell counts from becoming too low.
The newer chemotherapy methods cause fewer side effects and are as effective as older treatments. Chemotherapy has been shown to improve both the length and quality of life in people with lung cancer of all stages.