Busting 8 Common Misconceptions About Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is one of the most effective therapies for cancer patients to extend their lives. However, despite the importance of this therapy, misconceptions abound. This is because most people do not know how the procedure works.
In this post, we bust common misconceptions about chemotherapy for lymphoma or any kind of cancer treatment in Canada.
Let’s get started.
Debunking Common Misconceptions About Chemotherapy
Here we debunk some common myths about chemotherapy so that you can make an informed choice regarding treatment.
It Is Administered Intravenously Only
Many people think that chemotherapy is all about intravenous infusion during a prolonged hospital stay. This is not the case. Chemotherapy medicines can be taken either orally or via injection. Even when a chemotherapy dose is offered intravenously, the patient is released the same day.
There Is Only One Type of Chemotherapy
Many people think that all kinds of cancer may be cured with the same type of chemotherapy drug. Again, this is not true. Different medicines focus on different kinds of cancer and work in diverse ways. They destroy cancerous cells, shrink tumours, and offer relief from common symptoms of advanced cancer. These medicines are also offered before, after, or in conjunction with radiation therapy or other medications.
It Causes Severe Nausea and Vomiting
In previous decades, lymphoma patients and those with other forms of cancer suffered from nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. Today, such side effects are pretty rare. Healthcare providers use anti-nausea medicines such as Kytril or Zofran to control the adverse side effects of chemotherapy.
It Can Cause Chronic Infection
Patients undergoing chemotherapy do not suffer severe infections as a side effect. This is because today’s treatments cause myelosuppression and not immunosuppression. This signifies that your bone marrow’s activity is restricted but that your body’s immune response is not suppressed. This results in the generation of platelets and white blood cells. As your immunity is not affected, your body can fight off infection or ailment.
You Will Lose Hair
Although hair follicle damage is a common side effect of chemotherapy, today’s new medications are so targeted that hair loss does not occur in most cases.
You Won’t Conceive After Chemotherapy
There is a misconception that menstruation stops due to chemotherapy so you cannot become pregnant after this treatment. But a woman in her twenties, thirties, or even early forties will menstruate again post-treatment. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with lymphoma or other types of cancer may be recommended chemotherapy medicines that won’t affect their babies. Indeed, pregnancy does not impede this treatment.
It Is Contagious
Chemotherapy drugs do have toxic properties that may be dangerous if they are not applied using adequate expertise and care. But a patient undergoing chemotherapy treatment can’t contaminate their friends or family. Therefore, they can continue maintaining regular lifestyles such as sharing common washrooms and bedrooms.
It Causes Weight Loss
The loss of weight after being diagnosed with cancer happens because of low appetite. This is due to cancer, not chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.
Going through chemotherapy is not easy and the misconceptions surrounding this treatment trigger unnecessary fear and tension. Most people also are not aware of how this treatment process has evolved. Hopefully, this post has debunked some of those misconceptions for you. Have you or any of your family members been diagnosed with lymphoma? Do you want to learn more about chemotherapy and other therapies? Consult a healthcare provider or a support group to cope better with this condition.