Whether you have chemotherapy as part of your treatment depends on what type of cancer you have, how big it is and whether it has spread or not. Doctors use chemotherapy because it circulates throughout the body in the bloodstream. So it can treat cancer almost anywhere in the body. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment. Surgery only removes the cancer from the area it is in the body. And radiation therapy only treats the area of the body it is aimed at.
You might have chemotherapy:
. to shrink a cancer before surgery or radiation therapy
. to try to stop cancer coming back after surgery or radiation therapy
. as a treatment on its own, if your type of cancer is very sensitive to it
. to treat cancer that has spread from where it first started
The aim of chemotherapy before surgery is to shrink a tumor so that you need less surgery, or to make it easier to get all the cancer out. Shrinking the cancer with chemotherapy might also mean that you can have radiation therapy to a smaller area of your body. Having chemotherapy before other treatments in this way is called neoadjuvant treatment. Sometimes doctors may call it primary treatment.
The aim of chemotherapy after surgery or radiation therapy is to lower the risk of the cancer coming back in the future. This is called adjuvant treatment. The chemotherapy circulates throughout your body and kills off any cancer cells that have broken away from the main tumor before your operation.
You might have chemotherapy as a treatment on its own, without surgery. This is for types of cancer that are very sensitive to chemotherapy, such as blood cancer.
Your doctor might suggest chemotherapy if there is a chance that your cancer might spread in the future. Or if it has already spread. Sometimes cancer cells break away from a tumor. They may travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. The cells may settle in other parts of the body and develop into new tumors. These are called secondary cancers or metastases. The drugs circulate in the bloodstream around the body to treat any cancer cells that have spread.
Sometimes, one of these treatments can be more effective than the other in treating a particular type of cancer. Other times, chemo and radiation can actually complement each other and be given together. When you meet with your cancer care team, your oncologist will give you the options that will be most effective in treating your type of cancer. Together with your cancer care team, you can decide on the treatment option that’s right for you.
Chemo and radiation are sometimes used together to treat certain types of cancers. This is called concurrent therapy. This may be recommended if your cancer:
. cannot be removed with surgery
. is likely to spread to other areas of your body
. isn’t responding to one particular type of treatment
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For more information about the cost of Radiation Therapy in Iran and to schedule an appointment in advance, you can contact Iranian Surgery consultants via WhatsApp number 0098 901 929 0946. This service is completely free.