Chemotherapy (Chemo)

Chemotherapy is using drugs to kill dividing Cancer cells.
What type of drugs is used?
Does it affect normal cells in other body organs?
What side effects should you know before you pursue chemo?

Your normal cells multiply when they respond to the production of growth signals from hormones or enzymes, etc.

Cancer cells multiply by themselves vigorously and independently, and they do not respond to other body signals.

Chemotherapy kills the active growing cells in your body without regard to whether they are cancer cells or non-cancer cells.

When chemo drugs are injected into your body, they are carried throughout the whole body by your blood and lymphatic fluid.

When they meet with fast multiplying cells (cancer and non-cancer cells), they destroy them by interfering with their cellular growth and by preventing them from reproducing (mitotic activity).

They differ from radiation therapy in the sense that radiation therapy is much localized while chemotherapy targets the whole body.

Origin of chemotherapy

The drugs in chemotherapy were not used for cancer treatment originally.

During World War I and II, mustard gas was used as a chemical warfare agent, and when the people were exposed to the chemical, they found that their normal cells like the white blood cells slowed down their multiplication.

The gas had damaged the DNA of the blood cells, and they reckoned that the same effect can be used on cancer cells.

In 1940, doctors tested the mustard administered through the veins on patients with lymphomas, and they experienced temporary improvement.

This experience initiated researchers to seek for other similar drugs that can have the same effect on cancer cells, and spurring a whole new profitable pharmaceutical industry.

How is chemotherapy done?

The normal way of injecting the chemo drug into your body is to use an intravenous (IV) device such as a catheter, and inject regular doses into your blood vessels.

It makes use of your blood circulation to carry the cytotoxic (cyto=cell; toxic=poison) drug through the body to attack the cancer cells.

The ideal situation would be to kill only the cancer cells and spare the healthy cells, but unfortunately this is not so.

Nearly all the chemo drugs destroy cancer cells and healthy cells.

For that reason, the oncologist plan is to pace the chemo treatment hoping that the healthy tissues will have time to recover without a total collapse of body systems.

A partial list of some of the chemo drugs (together with their side effects) compiled by an oncologist are:

Actinomycin D, Adriamycin, Alkeran, Ara-C, Arsenic Trioxide (Trisenox), Avastin, BiCNU, Busulfan, Carboplatinum, CCNU, Cisplatinum, Cytoxan, Daunorubicin, DTIC, 5-FU, Erlotinib, Fludarabine, Gemcitabine, Herceptin, Hydrea, Idarubicin, Ifosfamide, Irinotecan, Lapatinib, Leustatin, 6-MP, Methotrexate, Mithramycin, Mitomycin, Mitoxantrone, Navelbine, Nitrogen Mustard, Rituxan, 6-TG, Taxol, Taxotere, Topotecan, Velban, Vincristine, VP-16, Xeloda, Tamoxifen, Treosulfan, Theotipa, Melphalan.

There are now more than 65 commercially available chemo drugs used in chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is seldom administered as a lone treatment but usually used together with radiation therapy or surgery.

Depending on the dosage and the physical strength of the patient, the chemotherapy with radiation therapy are spaced out at regular intervals to enable the body to recover and be strengthened.

Side effects of chemotherapy

The side effects are caused by the damage of the normal healthy cells.

The normal cells that multiply more rapidly than others will be most affected and they include bone marrow/blood cells, cells of hair follicles, cells in the digestive system, and cells in the reproduction system.

Your bone marrow produces all the blood cells such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. These cells grow very fast and they are sensitive to the chemo drugs.

Your white blood cells help you to ward off infections. Your red blood cells carry oxygen and some nutrients to the body. Your platelets prevent excessive bleeding by forming mesh seals to repair damaged blood vessels.

Due to the destruction of these blood cells, you will most likely suffer side effects cause by the failure of these functions.

For example, a lowering of your white blood cells will open your body to the effects of fever, sore throat, cough, breathlessness, nose congestion, body chills, swellings and pain.

A lowering of your red blood cells (called anemia) will cause you to have fatigue, tiredness, skin paleness, dizziness, headaches, low blood pressure and increase in heart rate.

A low platelet count will result in your bruising easily, longer bleeding after minor cuts, nose bleeds, gum bleeds, headaches, blood in stools and urine, or internal bleeding.

All these side effects are serious and may require blood transfusion if the patient suffers severely.

Hair loss is a common side effect because the chemo drugs kill the fast growing hair cells in the follicle.

Hair loss may also occur all over the body including the face, arms, legs, underarms and pubic area.

This is not a life threatening side effect but rather more of a social and psychological effect.

To make the patient feel more comfortable, they may wear hats, bandanna, caps, scarves or wigs until the hair grows back in a few months time after the last dose of the chemo drugs.

The effect on the digestive system will cause weight loss and loss of appetite.

This is worsened with sores in the mouth, gums and throat causing pain, dryness and irritation.

To overcome this side effect, foods will have to be softer and cooler, and with proper nutrition to help strengthen the body to fight any possible infection.

Most chemo patients do not enjoy food because their taste buds (and their smell) are affected. This effect may last for years after chemotherapy.

They feel a dislike for food and have a constant metallic taste in the mouth. If radiation therapy is also done, the salivary glands may be damaged and makes eating a difficult chore.

Other problems arising include diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting and lack of bladder control.

The long term (permanent) side effects are seldom elaborated and these are the deep seated poisonings that can plaque the patient for life.

Some chemo drugs (anthracyclines, daunorubicin, doxorubicin) can damage your heart and cause your pumping to be erratic.

This will lead to fluid build-up, shortness of breath, dizziness, inconsistent heart beat and heart failure.

Some chemo drugs damage your brain and nervous system. These affect almost all your other organs in the body.

The internal functions of the brain will be affected such as short and long term memory loss, logical thinking, concentration, understanding and reasoning resulting in an experience called chemo-fog.

Some drugs damage the lungs by scarring them resulting in dry cough, breathlessness and fever. This damage cannot be reversed.

The effect on the reproduction system will cause loss of erection, sperm and egg damage, loss of desire, genital problems, vagina problems and yeast infection.

The liver, being a main body cleansing organ, is not spared as it tries to remove the cytotoxins as quickly as possible.

Some of the drugs (methotrexate, cytarabine, vincristine and streptozocin) will damage the liver causing yellowish skin and eyes, fatigue, abdominal pains and swellings of the abdomen and feet.

Some drugs (cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, ifosfamide and streptozocin) damage the kidneys and urinary system causing lower back pain, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, high blood pressure, urinating discomfort, swellings in the body.

All these chemo drugs do not guarantee that all the cancer cells will be eradicated.

In many cases, chemotherapy did not work at all, but actually accelerated the tumor growth instead of shrinking it.

In 1985, Robert Schimke, a researcher with American Cancer Society, discovered that cancer cells resist chemotherapy by replicating itself even harder and faster.

The cancer cells were fighting for their survival, resisting the chemo toxins, and growing faster.

The more they resisted, the stronger they became. Chemotherapy actually caused the cancer cells to adapt to a new poison.

Of great concern lately, is the common occurrence of second cancers for "cancer survivors" from conventional treatment.

Some chemo drugs are so potent and toxic that the patient develops second cancers, while still suffering under the residual effects of the first cancer treatment.

Chemotherapy and radiation can increase the risk of developing a second cancer by up to 100 times.

Dr. Samuel S. Epstein. Congressional Record, Sept. 9, 1987

The most commonly reported secondary cancers are leukemias, lymphomas and solid tumors.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has identified twenty different commonly used anti-cancer drugs that are actually powerful carcinogens themselves!

Some of them are the popular commercial alkylating drugs such as Cytoxan and Alkeran. These drugs have been proven to make the cancer cells drug resistant, and even enhanced in their ability to grow and metastasize.

Weigh the pros and cons

Do you know that when any chemotherapy drug is spilled in any medical center, it is considered a major biohazard and specialist cleaners in special suits have to be informed to clean up the mess?

Yet, we can see that the same chemo drugs are injected into the human body with the expectation of killing cancer.

From what I have seen, chemotherapy does more damage than good to the cancer patient who is in dire need of treatment.

The chemo drugs are so toxic to your healthy cells that your body will revolt and attempt to expel them as pollutants and poisons.

The body organs will suffer serious effects which will deteriorate your quality of life till you die. You may not live long after that.

The main cause of cancer is the exposure to toxic substances causing our cells to mutate and spread.

The chemo drugs are in fact doing the exact same thing of causing the healthy cells to mutate and spread.

The onus is on you to weigh the pros and cons.

Below are some excerpts from famous physicians and authors for your thought:

Chemotherapy is an incredibly lucrative business for doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies?.The medical establishment wants everyone to follow the same exact protocol. They don’t want to see the chemotherapy industry go under, and that’s the number one obstacle to any progress in oncology."

Dr Warner, M.D.

"We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison are better than three doses of that poison."

Dr Glen Warner, M.D. oncologist

“Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon, or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade, yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumors.;

Allen Levin, MD UCSF  The Healing of Cancer, Marcus Books, 1990

“If I contracted cancer, I would never go to a standard cancer treatment centre. Cancer victims who live far from such centres have a chance.

Professor Charles Mathe, French cancer specialist

“Our most effective regimens are fraught with risks and side-effects and practical problems; and after this price is paid by all the patients we have treated, only a small fraction are rewarded with a transient period of usually incomplete tumour regressions....

Senior cancer physician Dr. Charles Moertal of the Mayo Clinic in the US

As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incomprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good.

Alan C Nixon, PhD, former president of the American Chemical Society

Chemotherapy is basically ineffective in the vast majority of cases in which it is given.

Ralph Moss, PhD, former Director of Information for Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center

My tip is to search for an alternative cancer treatment that targets cancer cells and do not damage healthy cells.

I have found it, and I am sharing my search with you in this site.

Further Readings:

The Australian: HUNDREDS of women every year are having treatments for breast cancer, including surgery and chemo-therapy, that are unnecessary because nearly one-third of cancers detected by screening tests are not dangerous.

The explosion in the use of three anti-anemia drugs to treat cancer and kidney patients illustrates much that is wrong in the American pharmaceutical marketplace. Thanks to big payoffs to doctors, and reckless promotional ads... Now we learn that the dosage levels routinely injected or given intravenously in doctors?offices and dialysis centers may be harmful to patients.

Policing health care: Betsy Lehman, a 39-year-old health columnist for The Boston Globe who died in 1994 after an overdose of chemo-therapy for breast cancer at the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston.

Long-term survivors of testicular cancer who were treated with cisplatin-based chemo-therapy had more severe side effects, including neurological side effects and Raynaud-like phenomena, than men who were not treated with chemo-therapy, according to a new study published online November 25, 2009 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Chemo-therapy drugs frequently cause inflammation in the liver, and when they do, doctors must often lower patients' doses or stop administering the therapies altogether.

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Cancer Treatment and Body Systems

Celebrities with Cancer

Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer

Blood Test and Cancer

Coffee Enema and Cancer

Hydrogen Peroxide for External Cleansing

Chemotherapy (Chemo)

Cancer Statistics

Symptoms of Cancer

Cancer Treatment and Natural Health