What are the pros and cons of radiation and chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy damages cancer cells while radiation therapy damages the DNA of the cancer cells, causing them to die. Chemotherapy generally causes more side effects than radiation therapy, such as hair loss, anemia, and severe nausea.
What are the most common side effects of radiation therapy?
The most common early side effects are fatigue (feeling tired) and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area. Late side effects can take months or even years to develop.
What are the drawbacks of chemotherapy?
The side effects of chemotherapy include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, infections, fatigue, loss of taste buds, and destruction of the immune system. Most chemotherapy operates on the principle that the most rapidly dividing cells will be the most susceptible to the drug.
What happens if I refuse radiation treatment?
Patients who refuse recommended adjuvant radiation therapy have unacceptably high rates of local recurrence. Omission of radiation for advanced age alone is associated with local recurrence rates comparable to those for younger patients.
What are the worst cancers to get?
Top 5 Deadliest Cancers
- Prostate Cancer.
- Pancreatic Cancer.
- Breast Cancer.
- Colorectal Cancer.
- Lung Cancer.
How long for immune system to recover after radiation?
It might take from 10 days to many months for the immune system to recover completely. Surgery also breaks the skin and can damage mucous membranes and tissue under the skin, causing it to be exposed to germs. The wound caused by surgery (the incision) is a common place for infection.
Do you ever fully recover from chemotherapy?
Most people say it takes 6 to 12 months after they finish chemotherapy before they truly feel like themselves again. Read the resource Managing Cognitive Changes: Information for Cancer Survivors for more information about managing chemo brain.
What’s the worst chemotherapy drug?
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) is one of the most powerful chemotherapy drugs ever invented. It can kill cancer cells at every point in their life cycle, and it’s used to treat a wide variety of cancers. Unfortunately, the drug can also damage heart cells, so a patient can’t take it indefinitely.
Is chemotherapy really worth it?
Suffering through cancer chemotherapy is worth it — when it helps patients live longer. But many patients end up with no real benefit from enduring chemo after surgical removal of a tumor. Going in, it’s been hard to predict how much chemo will help prevent tumor recurrence or improve survival chances.
What comes first chemo or radiation?
Giving Chemo and Radiation Therapy at Same Time Offers Same Benefits as Sequential Timing. If early-stage breast cancer is going to be treated with both chemotherapy and external beam radiation therapy, chemotherapy usually is given first. Radiation generally starts after chemotherapy is done.