Opinions on Chemotherapy

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This article is about cancer chemotherapy. For antimicrobial chemotherapy, see Antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a category of cancer treatment that uses chemical substances, especially one or more anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapeutic agents) that are given as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent, or it may aim to prolong life or to reduce symptoms (palliative chemotherapy). Along with hormonal therapy and targeted therapy, it is one of the major categories of medical oncology (pharmacotherapy for cancer). These modalities are often used in conjunction with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, surgery, and/or hyperthermia therapy. Some chemotherapy drugs are also used to treat other conditions, including AL amyloidosis, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma.

Traditional chemotherapeutic agents are cytotoxic, that is to say they act by killing cells that divide rapidly, one of the main properties of most cancer cells. This means that chemotherapy also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles. This results in the most common side-effects of chemotherapy: myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells, hence also immunosuppression), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract), and alopecia (hair loss).

Some newer anticancer drugs (for example, various monoclonal antibodies) are not indiscriminately cytotoxic, but rather target proteins that are abnormally expressed in cancer cells and that are essential for their growth. Such treatments are often referred to as targeted therapy (as distinct from classic chemotherapy) and are often used alongside traditional chemotherapeutic agents in antineoplastic treatment regimens.

Chemotherapy may use one drug at a time (single-agent chemotherapy) or several drugs at once (combination chemotherapy or polychemotherapy). The combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is chemoradiotherapy. Chemotherapy using drugs that convert to cytotoxic activity only upon light exposure is called photochemotherapy or photodynamic therapy.


In the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for Chemotherapy. And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about Chemotherapy in the last years.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Chemotherapy has and the evolution of its popularity.

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