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Chemical Therapy

Updated on August 15, 2014
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I am a student at Central Georgia Technical College. I like to write and explore my feelings.

I became interested in chemical therapy when my friend developed cancer and he had to receive treatment. I found that there are other uses for this life saving procedure. It is useful for other diseases besides Cancer. Multiple Sclerosis and molar pregnancies (Gestational Trophoblastic Disease) are other diseases that can be treated with chemical therapy.

In times past, chemical therapy was described as the application of medicines to any sickness in order to heal. For the most part this meant the use of antibiotics for infections. Then came the 1940s and the invention of anti cancer drugs containing platinum. The most important one is Cysplatin. It is used for triple negative breast cancer and recurrent thyroid cancers along with cancers of the head and neck. Also around this time, Folic acid, an important B vitamin that's useful in the development of healthy red blood cells, was discovered and given to children in India in the year 1937 by Lucy Wills a leading English hematologist. She found it useful in relieving some symptoms associated with the treatment of Leukemia in children. Folic acid can be found in foods such as, citrus fruit, leafy vegetables and legumes (beans) as well as beets and corn. Include these foods in your healthy eating regimen.

Modern chemotherapy is meant to target diseases specifically. There are actually antibiotics as well as derivatives from certain plants involved in the chemotherapy recipe. Certain drugs are made from the dna of mice. These are called murine therapy drugs. Other drugs are platinum or lead based (derived from plants) in order to stop cell replication.

Antibodies develop in our bodies from the B cells in order to fight against viruses or bacteria. They bind to the invader to capture it an to stop the progression of illness. It also allows similar antibodies to come along and take down the invader in order to destroy it and to keep us healthy. Any other invaders that are similar to the ones that are defeated may show up, but will be defeated also. Antibodies already present in our bodies defeat invaders continuously. In other words, if you have had chickenpox before then chances are, you won't get it again. his works in conjunction with your lymphatic system to ward off diseases. Where the body fails to protect itself, certain drugs derived from antibodies are manufactured to boost the body's ability to fight against disease. Ideally chemo will help us develop the ability to produce healthy cells in order to destroy cancer. This isn't quite true yet considering that chemo destroys all cells in order to cure cancer.

There are many types of cancers. It is hard to settle on just a few way of curing this disease. A chemical must be developed to stop the dangerous cells at the point where they become dangerous. CD47 a protein found in tumors is key in developing treatment to kill or stop cancer cells. Since cancer cells possess this protein a way is needed to attack it in order to help the immune system to destroy these cells.

Cells grow and divide to make new cells. These new cells develop into our bodies' organs and tissues. A complete animal, plant or human is made from cells. In the process of producing more of themselves, cell replication (copying) may get out of hand. An overproduction of cells will lead to abnormal growths called tumors, These tumors can invade and spread to healthy parts of the body. There are two types benign and malignant. The malignant ones become cancerous. Cancer will cause death if not caught and killed in time.

DNA replication in which the dna in our cells develop new cells to form organs, tissues and the like occurs when cross DNA is produced. A cell is divided into two daughter cells where an exact replication or copying of a cell occurs. This is known as mitosis. The chromosones or genetic material become one. At a point in the cell division process the chromosomes split toward the opposite ends of cells making exact copies. At the end of mitosis, the cells split to form two complete cells. Each one has its own nuclei or a complete set of chromosones. This is how cells grow and develop into body parts that make up a whole human, animal or plant.

Uncontrolled cells grow wildly and rapidly and then spread to healthy cells and eventually the whole body. Chemo stops this erratic growth and allows the immune system to fight. All cells in the body are affected. Treatment is stopped for a time to give the body time to recuperate and to discover whether or not a cancer is cured.

  1. G0 resting phase or inter phase - a cell is preparing to go into GS or dividing phase.
  2. G1 - supplication of the cells with necessary nutrients and DNA along with protein.
  3. S - the point where the cell's DNA is replicated (copied).
  4. G2 - chromosomes are formed to begin the growth of mature cells that will divide.
  5. Mitosis - division of complete cells with its necessary genetic materials into two complete daughter cells.

These phases are necessary to begin maturation in order form cells to form body tissue and organs. Cancers may develop at anytime during the cell cycle the time it takes to develop into mature cells. Many cancers are caused when undeveloped or immature cells try to make copies of themselves. The replicated cells become tumors. A cell may go into G0 phase, die or continue to grow with abnormalities present. This unregulated cell growth produces malignant or cancerous tumors that may spread through the body. Different chemotherapy treatments are applied throughout cell division and maturation in order to kill cancer.

Gestational Trophoblastic Disease - rare disease

Gestational trophoblastic disease or Molar pregnancies occur when tumors develop in the placental area inside of the womb. They usually occur during pregnancy and grow abnormally as cancer cells do. Unlike cancer cells they stop growing. The good news is that they are highly receptive to chemotherapy and are easily cured. These tumors grow in the place where the placenta is attached and will mimic an actual pregnancy. Hydatidiform moles are cancers contained inside the placenta inside the womb. Choriocarcinoma, another form of this disease is found in the muscles. Placental site gestational tumors are found in the placenta and muscles. Tumors in the womb are first removed. Then a D and C (dilation and curettage) is performed. This is a procedure where the cervic or opening of the womb is expanded and the womb itself vacuumed of the material inside. The uterine walls are gently scraped to remove any left over materials in the wall. Gestational trophoblastic disease is treated by using chemotherapy or radiation to shrink tumors.

All cancerous tumors are attacked by the use of chemotherapy and or radiation. The goal is to shrink and ultimately kill these tumors. At best, the complete remission or the ending of symptoms and signs of disease is desired.

Multiple Sclerosis - manageable disease

Multiple Sclerosis is a disorder that affects the central nervous system (your brain, spinal cord and optic nerve). The sclerosis is the scar tissue that is formed around the fatty (myelin) portion surrounding the nerves. The immune system is responsible for attacking the nervous system of some one suffering from this disease. The damage to the nerves of this individual will cause a distortion or disruption of signals to and from the brain. Chemotherapy is used to stop the progression of this disease as it worsens enabling a sufferer to manage this disease. Chemotherapy ideally gives the immune system a fighting chance to do what it does best, fight infections and illness. Because the tissue in myelin or the nerve's 'protectors' become inflamed, chemo is used to fight this inflammation. Preventative therapies are being examined as a way to stop MS before it starts.

Discoveries

Vaccines to stop disease are a new kind of therapy. A vaccine for the human pamploma virus is already in use to keep us from getting cervical cancer. This vaccine helps our immune system fight this virus. Other vaccines are being designed to stop other cancers before they start. Certain diseases such as Gestational trophoblastic disease is easily treated with chemo because of the ability of these cell to absorb treatment.

Certain cells named stem cells are used today as treatment for cancer and other diseases. Stem cells are cells that can regenerate into many different cells that repair the human body. These cells are found in the bone marrow of adults. Embryonic stem cells are found In developing embryos inside the womb. These cells develop into body parts that become the physical body of human embryos. When used for the cure of diseases, these cells are artificially grown and then developed into specialized cells that can repair our body.

Just as chemo is used to manage the symptoms of MS as well as cancer, drugs used to manage other illnesses can help in the treatment of cancer. For instance, blood pressure medicines aid in the transfer of chemo to certain tumors by opening the blood vessels of such tumors. Cancer research has uncovered newer ways to fight autoimmune disease. As more diseases are being studied and clinical trials are being performed on patients with much success, newer ways to cure or manage disease are being discovered every day.

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