Chemotherapy11 Apr 2022
The purpose of chemotherapy is to kill the cancerous cells. It may be prescribed:
- As an adjuvant treatment once the tumour has been removed, to ensure that no cancerous cells remain.
- As a neo-adjuvant treatment, to reduce the size of the tumour before surgery: this helps to limit potential after-effects linked to the surgery.
- In the case of metastatic disease, to treat the whole organism.
There are many types of chemotherapy, which are used according to the characteristics of the cancer.
Chemotherapy is frequently administered intravenously. It is usually performed in the form of sessions lasting from a few minutes to several hours, in a day hospital. The sessions are repeated every two to three weeks.
Chemotherapy can also be administered orally in the form of a tablet, which can be taken at home.
Chemotherapies have one major drawback: they are unable to make a distinction between cancerous cells and healthy cells. They therefore destroy a large part of the rapidly renewed cells of the organism. This explains the many possible side effects, such as loss of hair, problems with the nails or skin, and nausea. Oftentimes, chemotherapy also causes a temporary decrease in the immune defences, so patients must therefore be given advice on how to react in case of infection.
Respectfully called MVR, the late MV Raghavan was one of the revolutionary leaders of the Communist movement in Kerala. Born in an ordinary family in Pappinissery, Kannur, his political life began in his early teens. He served two terms as Minister of Co-operation and Ports in Kerala during 1991-1996 and 2001-2006. MVR revolutionized the co-operative sector by taking the people-powered movement to healthcare and education in the State. MV Raghavan realized the role of the co-operative movement in social development and job creation and he was instrumental in setting up various institutions in the state.