When was chemotherapy administered for the first time?

How does chemotherapy work?

Many types of cancer can be successfully treated with one today. However, many people are very afraid of the side effects of treatment. As a rule, cytostatics not only attack cancer cells, but also healthy cells that divide quickly. These include blood-forming cells, hair cells, the cells of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat area and in the digestive tract. In the short term, this can lead to hair loss, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as infections in the mouth. However, these side effects can often be prevented or the symptoms can be alleviated: Blood transfusions help against the consequences of one, which primarily include tiredness and exhaustion. So-called antiemetics - remedies for nausea - can often relieve nausea and vomiting. or antifungal drugs (antifungal agents) may protect against or treat infections.

How severe the side effects are varies. Some people tolerate cytostatics better than others. Possible complaints also depend on the dosage and the respective active ingredients. In addition, not all chemotherapy treatments cause serious side effects, and most are short-term. As a rule, hair grows back after the treatment, mucous membranes and blood formation recover.

In young people in particular, side effects can sometimes only occur after treatment has ended. Since it cannot be ruled out that sperm or egg cells are damaged by one, it is recommended to use contraception as safely as possible during treatment.

The side effects a person can have and whether they are permanent or only occur during treatment also depends on the type of cancer, the type of cancer and the treatment regimen.