The chemotherapy is the treatment of diseases through chemical products . The concept is usually associated with the treatment of Cancer by this type of substances.
The function of chemotherapy is to prevent, in neoplastic diseases, the reproduction of the cells cancerous . For this it causes a cellular alteration through the synthesis of proteins or nucleic acids, or through the cell division itself.
In the decade of the 40s the use of chemotherapy has its origin. And it is that at that time various substances, such as mustard gas, began to be used to carry out the treatment of cancer that is known as the "scourge of the twentieth and twenty-first century."
A great advance in this area came after the Second World War because there was the use of antimetabolites to stop that disease. And all this was achieved thanks to the research carried out by Sidney Farber, an American pathologist who is considered the father of clinical cancer chemotherapy.
As its action is not specific, chemotherapy also affects non-cancer cells and normal body tissues. This invasive aspect makes chemotherapy a very hard treatment for the patient due to its harmful effects.
Some negative consequences of chemotherapy they are hair loss (which can bring psychological problems), nausea, vomiting, anemia, immunosuppression, diarrhea (or otherwise, constipation) and even the possible appearance of secondary tumors.
However, there are other side effects that make it clear that undergoing chemotherapy is very hard for patients both psychologically and physically. Specifically, other consequences are hemorrhages, a decrease in coagulation factors or toxicity that affects the kidneys and liver.
Beyond these issues, chemotherapy has a history of more than six decades and has proven effective for the treatment and cure of certain types of cancer, such as Testicular cancer and the hodgkins disease , among others.
We can underline that there are two important types of chemotherapy. Thus, on the one hand, there is monochemotherapy, which is used in certain types of cancer and which consists in the administration of a single antitumor drug. The diseases that best respond to this type of treatment are lymphomas and leukemias.
In the same way, we cannot ignore the existence of polychemotherapy either. As the name implies, it is based on what would be the use of several cytotoxics that have different but at the same time complementary functions.
Among the types of chemotherapy, is the adjuvant chemotherapy (usually given after surgery), the neoadjuvant or induction chemotherapy (begins in the stage prior to surgical or radiotherapy treatment), the concomitant radiochemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy (which combines chemotherapy with radiotherapy) and polychemotherapy (It consists of the association of various cytotoxic agents to act together).