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General Information About Chemotherapy

Different Types Of Chemotherapy Treatments [Explained]

Different Types Of Chemotherapy Treatments

Here you’ll get to know about the different types of Chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy involves a variety of therapy options. There are many technical terms used to describe how these drugs are used, which can be confusing and hard to follow without a simple explanation. This section simplifies each of the commonly used terminologies, so everyone can understand the principles and protocols of chemotherapy.

Different Types Of Chemotherapy Treatments

Adjuvant Chemotherapy

This is a post-operative (done after surgery) form of treatment. It is given after surgery because certain cancerous cells may still remain in the body after surgery or radiation therapy. It is used as a preventative measure to ensure that cancer never returns (relapses).

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

This is a pre-operative (done before surgery) form of treatment. Here, chemotherapy is given prior to surgery in order to make the tumor smaller so that the surgical procedure will not be as extensive, thus making it easier to perform.

Induction Chemotherapy

This type of therapy is used first for cancers which are likely to go into remission (stop) as a result of its use. It also helps the doctor to see if there is a need for other drugs to stop cancer from advancing. It is usually used initially in the treatment of acute leukemia, which can advance rapidly. Additional therapy is not required if the patient successfully goes into remission.

Consolidation Chemotherapy

This treatment is usually used in cases of acute leukemia which are going into remission following induction chemotherapy. The aim of this measure is to encourage and maintain the remission state. Only severe cancers utilize this kind of therapy. It is also known as intensification therapy.

Maintenance Chemotherapy

At the start of cancer treatment, high doses are given. In the end, lower doses are given. The therapy which is given in lower doses to promote remission is called maintenance therapy. Acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute promyelocytic leukemia (cancer of bone marrow) are often treated with this type of therapy.

First-Line Chemotherapy

This is the therapy that is best and first preferred by doctors. It is also called standard therapy because it is the most powerful option to treat a particular type of cancer. First-line therapy for cancer would depend on what type of cancer it is and the stage it has reached.

Second-Line Chemotherapy

Second-line therapy is given when the patient fails to respond to first-line (standard) chemotherapy. In some cases, this may also be referred to as ‘salvage therapy’.

Palliative Chemotherapy

All the therapies explained above are used as attempts to cure cancer. But palliative therapy is a kind of therapy in which the aim is not to cure, but rather to control the symptoms of cancer, such as pain, to minimize the discomfort of the patient. It is usually used in the terminal or final stages of cancer.

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