Is Chemotherapy Dangerous?

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Chemotherapy has rather severe side effects, and this is the reason why some people believe it is too dangerous. When a patient undergoes chemotherapy to treat their cancer, they are essentially being poisoned. The chemicals the patient receives are toxic, and while in many cases they do succeed in killing the cancer or at least slowing it down, they also attack healthy cells. Chemotherapy drugs do not know how to distinguish between cancer cells and normal cells — they affect all cells which experience rapid growth. This is the reason why chemo patients typically lose their hair during treatment — hair grows very fast, so it is strongly affected by the chemo drugs. Skin cells, the lining of the mouth and stomach, and other regions with quickly-dividing cells are also attacked by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy also causes severe fatigue, nausea, and even nervous system problems.

Critics argue that some patients are so sick or so old that their bodies simply can’t handle these side effects, and it is the chemotherapy, rather the cancer, that ends up killing the patient.


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Every case of cancer is unique, and it is best to get multiple opinions from different specialists over whether chemotherapy is the best approach to take. For some people, chemotherapy may not be the best option for treating their cancer, while for others, it could very well save their life. It is best to seek the advice of experts and ask questions to educate yourself about what the risks versus the benefits are of any treatment, so you can make informed decisions about the patient’s (or own your own) health and hopeful recovery.



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