Chemotherapy refers to the many drugs that are used to treat cancer in millions of patients. But chemo resistance – when the body fights those often powerful medications – is a big challenge for researchers and physicians trying to help patients, as well as the sickness itself that chemotherapy generates.
Cancer is usually managed in different ways. That could include surgery, and radiotherapy, and also chemotherapy. Chemotherapy includes a single medication or combination of drugs. The goal of chemotherapy is relatively simple but very complex: stop or slow the growth of cancer cells.
It is not an easy journey for some.
Chemotherapy side effects are common among people with cancer. Although chemotherapy aims to destroy cancer cells and stop them from multiplying, it can also damage healthy cells, which can cause other illnesses.
There are many different types of chemotherapy, and doses of the drugs given, all of which play a role in nausea and vomiting and hair loss. Not every person will have the same response to a dose or type of chemo.
Ultimately, chemo is measured in how effective in fighting the cancer someone has. Cancer resistance to chemo may cause relapses and deter or slow down clinical improvements for patients.
Drug resistance is a well-known phenomenon that results when diseases become tolerant to pharmaceutical treatments. Although many types of cancer are initially susceptible to chemotherapy, over time they can develop resistance through these and other mechanisms. Cancers are known to have the ability to develop resistance to traditional therapies, and with more drugs there is concern that more research is needed into such resistance.
Researchers from China say they have compiled data that reveals the efficacy of Chinese medicines in treating complications from cancer treatment, published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, according to Science News. Some Chinese medicines were identified as having lower toxicities and fewer adverse effects. In addition, there have been natural formulas in Chinese medicine used to treat side effects of cancer treatment. Some academic journals say that more study has to be conducted.
Chinese medicines have been used for thousands of years to restore imbalance of body functions due to diseases, based on holistic theories.
Proponents of natural products say they are rich sources of bioactive constituents that have the ability to reverse cancer multidrug resistance and decrease side-effects.
In another study, Traditional Chinese Medicine was shown to lead to partial relief of symptoms related to lung cancer, one of the malignancies that has a high mortality rate. The relief was demonstrated for non-small cell lung cancers, when applied with chemotherapy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment also was shown to “lower the risk of severe chemotherapy-induced leukopenia, neutropenia” in breast cancer patients, according to a study.
In another review of Chinese herbal medicine used for patients treated with chemotherapy for colorectal cancer, researchers identified “some benefit from decoctions of Huangqi compounds. “Compared with patients treated by chemotherapy alone, patients treated with chemotherapy and Huangqi decoctions were less likely to experience nausea and vomiting or low white cell counts,” a study said.
Reducing Stomach Upset
Among the Chinese herbs that may help alleviate stomach upset among patients undergoing chemotherapy include ginger, which has been reported as having a significant impact in nausea reduction. Acupuncture and massage also may help relieve symptoms of chemotherapy.
Whatever a patient does regarding chemotherapy, it is important they consult with their healthcare providers.
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