What exactly is chemotherapy and how does it work?

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What exactly is chemotherapy and how does it work?

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9 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Poison your body with the intention of killing the cancer cells without killing you

That why your body deteriorates so much during chemo, you’re being poisoned in a controled environment

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s essentially a poison that kills cells when they are dividing. Since cancer cells grow, and hence divide, much faster than the rest of you, the idea is that it will kill the cancer before it kills the rest of you.
So that’s why people are so sick on chemo, because it really isn’t very good for you. Other than that it can kill your cancer of course.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Chemotherapy is basically an attempt to poison living cells that are growing and rapidly dividing and kill them, these cells include cancer cells which fall into this category, but can also target hair and intestinal cells causing side effects of the treatment. https://youtu.be/MRRmHf5zr_c

Anonymous 0 Comments

Chemicals that halt cell division. Any and all cells stop dividing. This process is important for all surface cells and hair cells….it’s why skin looks awful, hair falls out, and you puke, pee, and poop blood.

It stops cancer cells (which are basically cells that cannot stop dividing) so that radiation can target and kill them and then be cut out by surgery!

Basically:

– chemo stops the cells dividing

– radiation kills the cells

– surgery cuts the mass out

Hopefully leaving you cancer free!

Anonymous 0 Comments

The other answers are correct. The actual word breaks down to chemical therapy. It’s using chemicals to fight a disease. The exact way they do that might vary depending on which chemicals are used exactly.

Currently, it’s exactly as said. Cancer cells are greedy so they should take up more of the bad chemicals than the rest of you. It’s usually a mix of chemicals to try and kill tumors that might have more than one cell mutation, which makes them hard to kill 100% (also why cancer might come back later).

The aim for chemotherapy in the future is target the cancer cells better so those cells will die and we don’t have to deal with as many gnarly side-effects of the chemicals.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Chemotherapy is basically poison to growing cells – cancer cells grow more quickly than healthy cells so the aim is to kill them before killing all of the healthy ones (and you!). A balancing act really.

(obviously more nuanced than that but ELI5!)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Used to work in chemotherapeutic research as a part of one of my internships.

Chemotherapeutics are, essentially, chemicals with notable toxicity that preferentially are uptaken by cells with cancer-like characteristics. See, cancer cells largely “look” like your normal cells to the rest of your body, and they’re rather difficult to specifically target because of this, so we attempt to exploit key differences when targeting them even if the exact method causes collateral damage elsewhere in the body–after all, cancer is life threatening (moreso the longer it goes untreated), and damage elsewhere can be managed *to a point.*

One of the common exploits is that cancer cells, like many rapidly dividing cells, take up many materials/molecules needed for growth at a much faster rate compared to their original cell type often. Thus, you can (hopefully) inject a toxic substance that has a theraputic window large enough to kill cancer cells due to their higher relative dose, while the normal healthy cells are still in a tolerable level of exposure. Alternatively, you target specific growth/division pathways, which cancer cells are much more dependent on since it’s a part of their mutation profile driving cancer-like behavior. Whether or not cancer cells have a wide enough margin in this area compared to normal cells though is not a given, and will depend on the specific cancer variant, cell type, drug candidate, and so on, hence all the investigation–there are some pretty widely useful drugs out there, but yeah, they largely just end up targeting rapidly dividing cells as a general trend, hence why chemotherapy can destroy stem-like cells, cause hair loss, and so on as collateral.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The idea is to introduce a chemical or chemicals that are taken up more readily by cancer cells than normals cells with the intent of stopping them from dividing and or outright killing them. The idea here is while yes they damage the rest of the cells in your body they do more to these cells that are turbo charged into rapid division which means more uptake of resources. So that in the war of attrition that is chemo the bad cells die out far faster than they can be replaced and faster than your cells are destoryed.

It is very much blowing up an ant hill with a bomb and hoping to blow up the ants before you level everything else around it. And take it from someone with stage 3 cancer some of those meds really really suck.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Chemo kills cells that divide quickly which cancer cells do. They work on all fast dividing cells in the body which is why you often lose your hair because your hair follicles divide quickly too.