By Elizabeth Silverthorne
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Extra info for Cancer (Diseases and Disorders)
Needles and syringes are used to give injections either into a muscle, under the skin, or directly into cancerous areas in the skin. The drugs may also be applied to the surface of the skin. But most often chemotherapy is given intravenously. The side effects of chemotherapy vary with each individual. The drugs used in chemotherapy are often very toxic. Common side effects are nausea, fatigue, weight loss, and hair loss. Donna, a young college professor, underwent chemotherapy 34 Cancer after having a cancerous breast removed.
J. Howard was an athlete, running sixty-five to seventy miles a week, when he developed a bad pain in his heel. An MRI showed a small growth on the heel, and he also had a stress fracture. Doctors told him to take six weeks off from running. The next year he started running for the University of California, Irvine, and midway through the season his heel started hurting again. Another MRI showed that the growth had increased from about half a centimeter to four or five centimeters. His doctor referred him to a specialist, who scheduled him for a biopsy.
For example, leukemia was once considered incurable. Today bone marrow transplants give hope to thousands of leukemia victims. Immunotherapy works to use the body’s own defense system to fight cancer. It uses substances designed to strengthen the patient’s immune system and make it more effective in rec- Detecting and Treating Cancer 37 ognizing and attacking cancer cells. Vaccines are also used to stimulate the immune system. Interferons, chemical messengers used to fight viruses, inhibit tumor cells from reproducing.