Following initial cancer treatment, further cancer treatment is administered to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and to improve the success of first-line treatment. Adjuvant chemotherapy is administered to remove a malignant tumor. Chemotherapy, radiation, hormone treatment, targeted therapy, and biological therapy are all examples of adjuvant therapy. The following cancers are typically treated using adjuvant therapies:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
Adjuvant Chemotherapy is the name used for this treatment.
The location of the tumor in the body.
How is it Performed
Adjuvant chemotherapy is administered based on a variety of criteria. Your doctor will go over your whole medical history with you and perform a physical examination. They will then look through your test findings, pathology reports, and imaging to come up with a treatment plan for you. Not every cancer patient should receive adjuvant therapy.
In adjuvant therapy, one or more of the following treatments may be used:
- Hormonal therapy
- Antibody therapy
- Radiation therapy
To avoid feeling too full during your chemotherapy treatment, eat small meals 4 to 5 times a day before the operation.
The following tests and procedures may be performed before therapy begins:
- Blood tests
- Tests for height and weight
- Tests to examine your lungs, heart, liver, kidneys
- Hepatitis tests
- Other physical examinations
Chemotherapy medications can be administered in a variety of ways:
Oral chemotherapy drugs
These are available in different forms (pills, tablets, capsules, and liquid), all of which can be absorbed by the stomach or beneath the tongue.
Subcutaneous injection of chemotherapy treatments
The needle enters the gap between the skin and the muscle layer, but does not penetrate all the way to the muscle layer.
Intramuscular Chemotherapy Injections
Intramuscular injections are injected into the muscle layer through the skin. This requires a bigger needle with greater penetration than a subcutaneous injection. The medicine is absorbed by muscle tissue.
Intravenous Chemotherapy Treatments
Intravenous therapy medication administration provides for quick entry into the body's circulation, where it is carried throughout the body in the bloodstream.
When medications need to reach the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, intraventricular or intrathecal chemotherapy is employed.
Some chemotherapy drugs can be injected directly into the abdominal cavity.
Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy Treatments
Drugs are injected directly into the artery that feeds the tumor.
Depending on the type, treatments can be administered by oral drugs, injections, radiation or more.
To decrease the frequency of taking chemotherapy medications at home, you should observe certain safety measures:
- Blood pressure and cholesterol tests should be conducted on a regular basis.
- You need to see your doctor for follow-up appointments every 4 to 6 months for the next 5 years.
- Take care while using the restroom. Sit down to use the restroom for one week after the treatment.
- Do not crush, chew, or cut the chemotherapy medication. If you cannot swallow a tablet whole, ask your oncologist or pharmacist if the drugs are available in alternate forms, (i.e., as a liquid).
- Wash your soiled garments thoroughly in either hot or cold water, and wash other items separately.
- If you engage in sexual intercourse after a chemotherapy session, use a condom.
- Store medicines in a secure location, out of reach of youngsters.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding should be avoided when receiving chemotherapy. Breastfeeding, especially, is strictly prohibited during chemotherapy.
Some risks of adjuvant chemotherapy include:
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Numbness, tingling, nerve pain
- Bruising and bleeding easily
- Digestive distress, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
To mitigate these side effects, your oncologist will suggest special rehabilitation measures. Anyone who has received chemotherapy should ensure they get the appropriate amount of sleep. If possible, patients should get at least eight hours of sleep. To help induce sleep, recovering patients should refrain from consuming beverages containing caffeine or similar foods for at least eight hours prior to retiring for the night. After chemotherapy, you should also try to manage your stress levels. Reducing stress is one of the most effective methods to unwind and feel at ease. Meditation can assist in clearing the mind and redirecting the patient's attention away from the source of their stress. After a patient finishes chemotherapy, it may take 6 to 12 months to return to a state of normalcy.