All About Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer

Chemotherapy For Oral Cancer

Anti-cancer medications known as chemotherapy (chemo) are given orally or by injection into a vein, allowing the drugs to enter the bloodstream and travel to most areas of the body. Chemotherapy is very effective in treating different types of cancer. In this article, we are going to discuss everything about chemotherapy for oral cancer. To learn more, keep reading,

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer

Chemotherapy, sometimes just called “chemo,” is a term most used to refer to medications that directly destroy cancer cells. These are occasionally referred to as “antineoplastics” or “anti-cancer” medications.

What is the Use of Chemotherapy?

Since the term “cancer” refers to a broad range of illnesses, no single treatment approach is accepted as the standard. There are several uses for chemotherapy:

The goals of chemotherapy include curing a particular cancer; limiting tumor growth in cases where a cure is not achievable; reducing tumor size before surgery or radiation therapy; decreasing pain and other symptoms; and destroying any remaining microscopic cancer cells following the removal of a known tumor through surgery. Adjuvant treatment is administered to prevent the potential for cancer to return.

How is Chemotherapy given to treat oral cancer?

Chemotherapy may be given at various stages to treat oropharyngeal or oral cancer.

  • After the surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy is given; sometimes, it is combined with radiation therapy. The main aim is to destroy all the cancer cells that were too small to see during surgery and may have been left behind. It reduces the chances of cancer returning in the future.
  • Before surgery, neoadjuvant or induction chemotherapy is given. Radiation therapy is sometimes given after chemotherapy. But sometimes it is also given along with radiation therapy at the same time. Some bigger cancers are to be shrunk to facilitate surgery and minimize tissue loss. This may result in less severe surgical side effects and issues.
  • Chemotherapy, either in combination with radiation therapy or alone, can be used to treat advanced tumors that are too big or have spread too widely to be surgically removed. The aim is to help alleviate whatever symptoms the cancer may be producing while also attempting to stop the growth of cancer for as long as possible.

Different Ways in Which Chemotherapy Can Be Administered

There are various techniques to administer chemotherapy; some of them are listed below:

Chemotherapy that is given intravenously. Several medications need to be injected straight into a vein. We refer to this as IV or intravenous chemotherapy. A few minutes to several hours are needed for this type of treatment. Certain IV medications function better when administered over a few days or weeks.

Chemotherapy that is taken orally. Chemotherapy given orally might be in liquid, pill, or capsule form. This means that you might be able to pick up your prescription drug at the drugstore and take it home. Cancer patients are now receiving more oral therapies. A few of these medications are taken daily, while others are taken less frequently. Make sure you enquire with your medical team about the dosage and storage instructions for your medication.

Chemotherapy that is given through injection. This is when you get a shot of chemotherapy. The injection can be administered subcutaneously or into a muscle. These shots could be administered to your arm, leg, or abdomen.

Chemotherapy injecting into a vein. A blood vessel called an artery transports blood from your heart to different areas of your body. Chemotherapy may be at times injected straight into an artery that goes to the area of cancer. It’s known as intra-arterial chemotherapy or IA chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is applied to the abdomen or peritoneum. You may receive treatment straight into your abdomen for certain types of cancer. Peritoneal cancers respond well to this kind of treatment. The stomach, liver, and intestines are covered by the peritoneum, which covers the surface of the inside of the abdomen. One form of cancer that frequently spreads to the peritoneum is ovarian cancer.

Topical Chemotherapy. Certain forms of chemotherapy are used topically as creams. You can get the prescription from a doctor and take it directly to a pharmacy.

Advantages of Chemotherapy

  • Chemotherapy may help you live longer or prevent the growth of cancerous cells.
  • Chemotherapy after the surgery may lessen the chances that the cancer will return in the future.
  • When receiving chemotherapy, you can have more frequent check-ups, tests, and visits with your physician. For some, this is comforting.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs are made to target and destroy rapidly growing proliferating cells, such as cancer cells. These medications may also have an impact on regularly growing cells. These include the lining of your mouth and throat, your intestines, your hair follicles, and your bone marrow, which is the site of the production of your blood cells. Everybody experiences chemotherapy side effects differently. When the treatment is over, they normally disappear over time.

The following are a few common side effects of chemotherapy:

  • Decreased amounts of red blood cells, or anemia
  • Loss of appetite
  • A change in the flavor of food and drinks
  • Bloating results from the retention of water.
  • Easily bruised or bleeding
  • Difficulties with chewing, swallowing, and speaking.
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive fatigue or tiredness
  • Loss of hair
  • Increased chance of infection
  • Reduced energy both during the treatment and after the treatment
  • Mouth sores.
  • Damage to the nerves that results in tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
  • Nausea & vomiting.

Oraal Spray

Oraal spray

Oraal spray is a type of drug spray that reduces and cures oral mucositis caused by radiation or chemotherapy. Oral spray offers a three-pronged technique for optimal results, addressing pollutants, toxins, and pro-inflammatory proteins. The ORAAL spray treats oral mucositis in a multi-layered fashion. After just two days of treatment, the Oraal spray decreases pain and mucositis. Along with its advantages for mucositis and discomfort, it has also shown a reduction in burns and infections related to oral mucositis.

Frequently Asked Questions : Chemotherapy for Oral Cancer

Q- Can someone fully recover from Oral Cancer?

Many patients will benefit from treatment that effectively destroys the cancer cells or eliminates oral cancer. Even though you’re happy that your treatment is over, it might be difficult to stop worrying that the cancer will return. If you have experienced cancer, there’s a possibility that it may occur in the future.

Q- For oral cancer, what kind of chemotherapy is used?

Chemotherapy kills cancer cells by using anti-cancer medications. The medications are transported through the bloodstream throughout the body. For oral and oropharyngeal cancer, cisplatin, and fluorouracil (5FU) are commonly used chemotherapeutic medications.

Q- Is oral chemotherapy painful?

Oral chemotherapy medications have little to no physical discomfort and it is less irritating, while it might hurt or be uncomfortable to get IV medications.

Q- What is the cost of treating mouth cancer?

Treatment for oral cancer can be very expensive, usually costing between INR 2,00,000 and INR 10,00,000 or more.

Q- Why is chemotherapy better than radiotherapy?

Chemotherapy is used by doctors because the bloodstream carries it throughout the body while radiation only targets the specific targeted area of the body. Thus, practically wherever in the body, chemotherapy can treat cancer. But radiotherapy has fewer side effects as it only targets one part of the body.

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