How many cycles
of Chemotherapy do I need?
A question which haunts each and every patient of breast cancer - Will I really need chemotherapy? Will I lose my hair? Losing of hair and fear of chemotherapy go hand in hand. Nothing affects an identity of a woman more than losing hair. And also, patients' have heard so much about side effects of chemotherapy most of which is actually not true. When I talk to my own patients after their entire chemo is over, even they tell me, it was not all that bad at all, as compared to what people (who haven't even undergone chemo) speak without knowing about it. The role of chemotherapy is very crucial, in those where it is indicated. It attacks the cancer cells moving around in the body, and reduces the chances of cancer coming back. So please remove the bias against chemotherapy from your minds, and read on why and how it is done.
What is 'Chemotherapy' and why is it needed?
Considering the fear that one has for chemotherapy, it is very essential that a patient understands how does a cancer spread, what is chemotherapy and why it is needed. Read on by clicking here -Need for Chemotherapy - this topic will open in a new window, you can easily close that window to come back to this page to continue reading.
Who plans Chemotherapy?
Cancer treatment involves three types of doctors (in addition to many associated doctors):
Surgical Oncologist: Performs cancer surgery.
Medical Oncologist: Plans and administers chemotherapy, targeted therapy and all systemic treatments.
Radiation Oncologist: Plans Radiation Treatment.
So, Chemotherapy is planned, administered, modified and managed by a Medical Oncologist. All the above three fields of Oncology are very very vast fields by themselves, that is why they are three different specialties. Each has his own role and cannot do the role of other. For example, a Surgical Oncologist will not and should not be giving chemo. And vice versa.
So let's read on about how chemotherapy is planned and given.