Cisplatin chemotherapy is used, usually in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, to treat cancer of the cervix, head and neck, testes, lung, bladder and ovaries. It is used as an injection under strict medical supervision, normally over a number of cycles. Cisplatin chemotherapy is known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer.
Cancer is one of the most widespread diseases worldwide and can affect any part, or a number of parts, of the body. Many cancers are now treatable if caught in time and treated correctly. Early detection and screening is vital to ensure the best possible prognosis. Cancer is, very simply put, the proliferation of abnormal cells which increase rapidly and knock out normal tissue.
Initial symptoms of cancer depend on where the cancer is located and may include fatigue, loss of weight and pain. Any unexplained or prolonged symptoms should be discussed with the doctor who will, if necessary, refer the patient to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Again, the specialist referral will depend on where the suspected cancer is. A number of diagnostic tests or biopsies may be performed to confirm diagnosis and establish the best route of treatment. This may include chemotherapy, like cisplatin chemotherapy or radiation, or a combination of both.
The dose and duration of cisplatin chemotherapy will depend on the type of cancer being treated. While cisplatin may be used as a single drug, it is usually used in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. These, too, will depend on the type of cancer being treated. The drug is usually given in cycles every three or four weeks for three to six cycles but this may differ depending on the diagnosis.
Cisplatin chemotherapy is administered in a hospital setting or doctor’s rooms, most often on an outpatient basis. Due to the possibility of adverse side effects, patients on chemotherapy are closely monitored with various blood tests and lab measurements throughout treatment. The most common side effects include nausea and vomiting, hearing loss and blood disorders. These should be discussed with the treating doctor or oncology nurse as symptomatic treatment can be given to minimize the unwanted side effects.
Taking chemo drugs is often not easy, due to the possible side effects and long-term nature of chemotherapy. Cancer treatment should not only encompass the chemical side but also the psychological aspect. Psychological therapy and support groups for both the patient undergoing chemotherapy and their loved ones are recommended.