Chemotherapy in Children

All medications that are administered to patients having cancer, stop and destroy the growth of cancer cells, in a general term known as chemotherapy. The treatment plan is drafted by your child’s healthcare specialist. They can either utilize the best medication or a blend of meds that anyone could hope to find to battle your kid’s sort and phase of malignant growth successfully.

What is the purpose of chemotherapy medications?

There are several reasons why chemo medications are given,

  • To decrease the size of tumors so that the tumor can be easily and safely removed 
  • Make use of chemotherapy medications that respond well to chemotherapy
  • To increase the effectiveness of other types of cancer treatment such as radiation therapy
  • Increase the person’s quality of life and control the cancer

How does chemotherapy work?

Chemotherapy works by obstructing the capacity of the cancer cells to divide and copy themselves. The chemotherapy medications are administered through the bloodstream to reach the cancer cells wherever they may be throughout the body. It can likewise be conveyed straightforwardly to explicit cancer destinations.

  • The chemotherapy prescription work to keep the cells from being developed
  • Preventing the activity of the cancer cells to copy the cellular components that are needed for them to divide
  • They trigger the cells to self destruct
  • They supplant and wipe out the fundamental catalysts or necessary supplements for the cancer cells to get by.

Chemotherapy medications are often a combination of drugs and each drug has its way of attacking them in a specific manner, thus decreasing the chances of the cancer cells surviving, becoming resistant, and growing. 

How to administer chemotherapy to patients

Chemotherapy is administered based on the type of cancer and the type of medications used.

It is controlled intravenously by infusing into a vein, intrathecally by straightforwardly infusing into the spinal canal through a lumbar cut, intramuscularly by infusing into a muscle, intraperitoneally by infusing into the stomach depression, intracavitary by infusing into the body cavity, subcutaneously by infusing it into a port simply under the skin, or orally as the need might arise to be swallowed.

At times, the kid’s clinical group will carefully introduce a focal venous catheter in a vein on the chest or an arm before the beginning of chemotherapy. This line allows the treatment to be given and helps in the easy taking of blood samples without the needle used for the mentioned purposes getting ‘stuck’. When the treatment is finished, the focal line will be taken out.

What is the right kind of chemotherapy medication that needs to be chosen?

Consistent research throughout the years has become successful in developing treatment methods for certain types of cancer but for some, the research is still underway and there have been no successful results yet. Kids who have cancer are partaking in clinical preliminary conventions. The protocols only have slight variations in addition to the best available treatment. These variations are believed to reduce the side effects and improve the success rate of the treatment plan.  Preliminary examinations consider at least two treatment designs at the same time that are accepted to be the viability in view of only a solitary objective whether one is more powerful than the other. Treatment plans for your child are created  considering  the following factors:

  • To boost the annihilation of cancer  while profoundly lessening the obliteration of solid cells simultaneously
  • The dosage amounts prescribed are based on the child’s body weight 
  • The treatment duration depends on the type of cancer and how responsive is that cancer to the chemotherapy being given
  • If there is no effectiveness in the treatment, chemotherapy is to be stopped. The treatment should also be stopped if the child is experiencing any side effects
  • Not all drugs work something similar for all youngsters, a few kids experience serious incidental effects that can be extremely durable excessively because of them being utilized on numerous occasions. Under such circumstances, the agents are monitored closely and if the side effects are more likely to cause damage to the child rather than the potential benefits, the treatment will be paused or stopped completely.

What should a parent do?

Once the treatment plan for your child is given by their doctor, review it with your child’s medical team and ask them about the potential side effects, the risks, and the benefits associated with the medication. 

  • Ask them about an effective way of managing these side effects
  • If the side effects can be determined only through tests, ask them what are the tests that need to be taken
  • Constant monitoring of the side effects via tests is also necessary
  • Do not exercise your medical expertise on your child. If you notice anything unusual going on with your child, tell their healthcare team promptly.

What is the reason behind experiencing side effects due to chemo?

The main purpose of chemotherapy is to target the cells that are rapidly dividing and if there are normal healthy cells that are dividing fast, the medications tend to target them too. The attack on the healthy cells is the reason why side effects occur. After Effects likewise happen when these ordinary cells are not harmed as well. Yet, now and again these solid cells are equipped for fixing the harm and are handily supplanted by other sound cells, hence bringing about the event of brief aftereffects,

Side effects are caused due to

  • The type of the medication used for chemotherapy
  • The dosage of the chemotherapy medication
  • And the health condition of the individual
  • Even if there are no occurrences of side effects during the treatment, sometimes side effects occur in the long term. Some types of side effects are not visible until after years of treatment. That is the reason it is important to monitor the health condition of the patient closely. All the patients who have gone through disease therapy ought to be followed all through their life, mindful by a doctor of the late impacts of cancer.

A portion of the normal secondary effects that happen because of cancer  treatment are:


It is caused due to the chemotherapy medication affecting patients causing them a decrease in their red blood cell count. 

It can cause extreme sluggishness, fair skin tone, crabbiness, windedness, cerebral pains, discombobulation, and diminished ability to focus.

Bruising and bleeding:

Due to the effect of the medications on the blood platelets, their count decreases and results in excessive bleeding or bruising. This condition is otherwise called thrombocytopenia and is caused because of the absence of adequate platelets to shape coagulation and stop the bleeding

Constipation and diarrhea:

Chemotherapy also affects the intestines. However, these symptoms can be avoided by taking a proper diet and nutrition. 

Fever: Fever during chemotherapy is often a clear indication that a serious infection has occurred. The brief obliteration of the white platelets and the body’s safeguard framework causes fever. In this way, assuming your kid is encountering fever while going through chemotherapy treatment, you want to quickly tell their primary care physician.

Hair Loss: Hair loss is a common side effect as the medication often causes thinning of hair.No problem, the hair will recover once the treatment is finished and the surface might change.

Sores in the mouth and throat: As mentioned earlier, chemotherapy medication targets the rapidly growing cells, and these include the rapidly growing cells in the throat and the digestive tract too. The inner lining of these areas can be temporarily destroyed causing sores called mucositis that can cause pain from a range of mild to severe. As time passes by, the sound cells will recover and the injuries will mend.

Nausea and vomiting: The impact chemotherapy has on the message focus of the mind and the gastrointestinal plot can cause nausea and regurgitation. Usually, before the start of chemotherapy, medication will be given to manage these symptoms by either minimizing them or preventing them.

Organ damage: Chemotherapy can some of the time affect the lungs, kidneys, liver, mind, and heart. The harm can be either transitory or super durable. Certain medications additionally influence the hearing ability of the kid.

If your child experiences any of the aforementioned symptoms, talk to their healthcare team immediately. The parent or the guardian ought to likewise know about the secondary effects that could happen and the clinical checking that is intended to avoid harm during treatment. Any changes in your child’s condition should be notified immediately. 

Chemotherapy medications:

Both the child undergoing the statement and the parent should be aware of the types of chemotherapy treatment and what are the common side effects that might occur due to the administering of that particular treatment to the child. Talk to your doctor and clarify any doubts and whether your child needs any other specific medications if it needs to be done, understand its working and the effect that it might have on your child. 

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