Chemotherapy: How It Works and How You'll Feel

By DCode Care Team | February 11th 2022

Chemotherapy: How It Works and How You'll Feel

Chemotherapy: How It Works and How You'll Feel

Looking to start Chemotherapy and feeling a little bit worried about how it will react to your body? It is a very common cancer treatment where certain types of medicines are used for treating this disease. The goal of this treatment varies from one situation to another as it is done for curing the disease in a few cases, while it is used to ease the symptoms in others. It affects different people with different results.

Many patients are very curious to know what kind of side effects it brings for them. While few people want to know it works on the body. We will give all the necessary information regarding Chemotherapy with its treatment procedure and side effects in detail. Check out the entire post and increase your knowledge of chemo now!

What exactly is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment where a group of meditations destroys a tumor or shrinks it as much as possible. It works according to the situation of the patient's body and how far cancer has spread. There are many cases where this treatment shrinks the cancer cells to remove the tumor.


Additionally, physicians also suggest that radiation and biological therapies become extra effective with this treatment. There are numerous ways Chemotherapy can work for a cancer patient, depending on the condition of their body. The duration of this treatment depends on various factors like cancer type, tumor size, etc.

How does Chemotherapy work?

Also known as chemo, this treatment is performed systematically where the drugs circulate throughout the blood for treating cancer cells all over the body. This approach is named systematic treatment by physicians. It affects the cancerous cells by slowing down their growth or completely destroying them. During the process, the body's healthy cells are also harmed making it a side effect.

The main motive of Chemotherapy is to destroy cancerous cells that are about to divide. There is a combination of different drugs used by the doctors during the treatment. Have a look at what Chemotherapy performs for the body in the following points:

  • Controlling Cancer

This treatment makes sure cancer doesn't spread to the other parts of the body by slowing down tumor's growth or eliminating cancer cells from the body.

  • Treating Cancer

Chemo destroys all the cancer cells to a level where tumors can't be detected in the body. It also ensures cancer doesn't return.

  • Easing Symptoms

The body feels lots of symptoms like pain and pressure during cancer treatment. The doctors use Chemotherapy to ease these symptoms in the body.

How do patients feel during the chemotherapy treatment?

If we talk about chemotherapy treatment, it greatly affects the physical and emotional well-being of the patient. Although most individuals feel lots of ups & downs during the treatment, there is a solid need for family support to ease the pain mentally. Most patients either feel unwell either during or after each session of Chemotherapy. On the other hand, there are many who feel quite difficult to deal with the pain of chemo in everyday life.

On top of that, it is quite common for patients to feel tired while receiving chemo treatment. This feeling of tiredness is pretty common and generally caused due to injected drugs, lack of sleep, drop in red cell count, and non-ability to eat food properly.

How is Chemotherapy administered?

There are various ways chemo is used for treating cancerous cells in the body. The physicians use clinical trials to identify the administration method of treatment. They are performed to evaluate how the patient's body will absorb the drugs and its benefits to their body. Generally, doctors give chemo through two different modes that we have mentioned below:

  • Oral Medications

Certain medicines need to be swallowed orally or kept under the tongue in this treatment type. A protective coating is present in these medicines that absorbs by the stomach for destroying cancer cells. Also, this treatment has a few medicines that can't be taken orally since body acid destroys them.

Chemo via tablets

It is considered a rapid method of absorbing the medication in the body. The time for which medicines need to be taken orally varies from one patient to another.

  • Injections

There are basically two types of injections used in the chemo treatment- intramuscular and subcutaneous. The intramuscular injections are given with a large needle into the layer of muscles. The medicine gets deposited into the muscle tissue and absorbed into the body. It isn't advisable to use when there are low platelets in the body of patients as muscles can create complications.

The subcutaneous injections are injected into the space located between muscle and skin. However, the medicines don't enter the muscle layer at all. This type of treatment is used for chemo support drugs and biologic response modifiers. The chances of bleeding are pretty less with this treatment when compared with intramuscular injections, even if the patient has low platelets.

Find the Best Hospitals for chemotherapy here

What are the major side effects of Chemotherapy?

The side effects can be caused by chemo treatment, irrespective of their nature. The reason behind them is that the chemo medicines travel throughout the body to kill or shrink the cancer skills. However, it also affects the healthy cells during this process which causes damage to them. The major cells affected by chemo are hair follicles, reproductive system cells, and bone marrow cells.

Managing Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Source: Youtube

Have a look at the main side effects of chemo below:

  • Hair Loss
  • Bleeding & Bruising
  • Infection
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Infection
  • Constipation

Please note that all patients don't show symptoms, whereas other individuals feel very few. It greatly varies from one individual to another. If we talk about how much they last, it can be between a few days to months or even years. Few drugs cause long-term side effects for some patients. That's why it is strongly suggested to talk with your doctor about what effects medicines can cause to the body.

Can Chemotherapy Be Taken at Home?

Yes, specialist practitioners can give home visits for chemo sessions. This type of service is usually available in selected cities and with a particular type of chemo treatment. Have a look at things that need to be taken seriously when you have chemo sessions at home:

  • Keeping Medicines Safe

It needs to be understood that chemo drugs and injections are stored with certain precautions. It is essential to follow every instruction suggested by doctors and nurses.

Chemotherapy at home
  • Avoid Direct Contact with Chemo Medicines

You should make sure other members of your family don't have direct contact with chemo medicines. Also, keep them away from the reach of kids as it can be extremely harmful to them.

  • Keeping Doctor's Numbers Handy

Always make sure someone in your family has the contact details of a physician who is giving treatment to be connected in case of emergency.

Also Read: Get upto 50% discount on your chemotherapy cost in Bangalore

Chemotherapy- Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I continue working during chemotherapy treatment?

Many people believe it is impossible to work during the treatment. However, it isn't true as many patients work comfortably if a flexible schedule is available. However, everything can be done after having a consultation with your doctor.

Q. Do chemo used for any other disease other than cancers?

Chemo has the power to destroy fast dividing cells and that's why it is used to treat many other conditions like giving treatment to an overactive immune system, bone marrow stem cell transplant, etc.

Q. Do Chemo get interfered with over-the-counter drugs?

Many people believe that it is right to use over-the-counter drugs during chemotherapy treatment. However, it shouldn't be done without talking with your doctors about what drugs can be taken.


Chemotherapy is a powerful drug treatment that treats a variety of cancers. We have tried to cover all the important prospects regarding this treatment for ensuring that visitors grab adequate knowledge. If you have any queries regarding this post, please write about it in the comment section.