[메디컬리포트=Maricor Zapata 기자] We often regard chemotherapy as the first option for cancer patients to shrink tumors and destroy the disease together.
Chemotherapy is the use of any drug to treat any disease.But to our knowledge, it is specific only to treat cancer.
Also, people coined a shorter word for it - “chemo”.
Chemo can work throughout the body, unlike surgery or radiation therapy, as those methods work only in a certain area of the body.
That is why chemo is commonly used to cure or treat cancer because cancer cells spread to parts of the body even far away from the primary tumor.
However, scientists from New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine have discovered that chemotherapy is only a short-term cure or answer.
According to new studies, chemotherapy could cause cancer to spread and become more deadly.
Their findings are while shrinking the tumors, chemo then opens a passage for tumors to spread into the blood system, making it easier to grow back stronger.
US researchers studied the effect of drugs on patients with cancer and found out that medication increases the chance of cancer cells migrating to other parts of the body.
Having these medications may even cause you side effects.Here are some of the more common side effects caused by chemotherapy:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low RBC count / Anemia
- Mouth sores
- Hair Loss
Approximately around 1.6 million have cancer just in the US and 600,000 already died because of it.In the image, these are the ten leading types of cancer that cause death among people in the US.
The most deadly of them all is the Lung cancer, followed by Breast cancer for women, and Colon cancer for men.
After his discovery that in mice, cancer chemotherapy increased the number of cancer cells circulating the body and in the lungs.
Dr.George Karagiannis, the lead researcher, advised patients to not be discouraged from seeking treatment.
Instead, he suggested that we could create a way to better monitor tumor movement in patients undergoing chemo.
“One approach would be to obtain a small amount of tumor tissue after a few doses of preoperative chemotherapy.” Dr.Karagiannis said.
And he added, “If we observe that the markers scores are increased we would recommend discontinuing chemo and having surgery first, followed by postoperative chemo.”
Peter Nelson, a human biology professor, said that chemotherapy is perfect for killing cancer cells and tumor.
Mixing a toxic dosage of the drug with the tumor in a lab dish, and the tumor will die and not spread.
However, the amount of drug to kill the tumor is deadly and dangerous for the patient.
Thus, doctors tend to give a lower dose of drugs to patients that have two downsides.
First, since it is a small dose, spreading of cancer cells may accelerate.
Second, the cells may resist the drug and survive.
In the contrary, some still prefer an organic way of curing cancer.
Herbal Medicine is one of the most used complementary and alternative therapies by people with cancer.
They believe that herbal medicines will help them in preventing the side effects of cancer drugs or providing them advantageous results for them.
Cancer Research UK conducted a survey for people with cancer.
The team sent letters of invitation, consisting of information leaflets and questionnaires to 1,498 people with cancer.
Out of the total number of people they have sent the invites to, 1,134 have only responded.
Twenty-seven people returned blank questionnaires and 337 people did not respond at all.
The results of the survey resulted in 640 people, about 56 per cent, have not used herbal medicine and 494 (44%) who did, many of those use more than one herbal medicine.
Herbal medication is being practiced for centuries to treat many different health conditions.
Herbal medicines are made from plants, same goes with modern medicine.
But the difference is herbalists do not extract plant substances unlike how modern drugs are manufactured.
They believe that the healing factor is present in the whole plant and not just on a specific active ingredient.
People used varieties of resources about herbal medicine.Including the internet, family and friends, books, complementary therapists, GPs, shops selling herbal products, hospital doctors and specialist nurses.
Many people assumed that it is organic and natural, it is safe to use.But then, some plants are safe to use and some are not.
Some are poisonous and may have severe side effects to the human body.And, they might interact with other cancer treatments.
For example, the US National Cancer Institute suggested that the St John’s wort can let your body get rid of the anti cancer treatment quickly.
Meaning, It will make the treatment less effective.Some herbal medicine increase the effect of drugs to your body, that means you will be over treated.
There are no concrete evidences that support herbal medicine can cure, treat, or prevent any type of cancer.
Some clinical trials seem to show that some Chinese herbs may help live longer, reduce side effects, and prevent cancer from coming back, especially when associated with conventional treatment.