Essay by LebaneseprincessHigh School, 12th grade May 2004

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The term chemotherapy describes treatment with a type of drug that acts by stopping the growth of cancer cells and preventing their spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy is often given in the form of a continuous injection into a vein for between 10 and 15 minutes. The treatment usually lasts for four to six months. Because it goes straight into the bloodstream, that needs to always looked at. All chemotherapy drugs cause tiredness (fatigue) to cancer patients.

A type of chemotherapy drug is known as Doxorubicin. Doxorubicin is used widely in the treatment of cancers, including breast, ovarian, bladder and lung cancer, as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and sarcoma. One of the most common brands of Doxorubicin is Adriamycin. Doxorubicin works by binding to cancer cells' DNA (the genetic code) and blocking an important enzyme (called topo-isomerase II). This causes the DNA to get tangled up and the cancer cells cannot divide and grow.

Doxorubicin is a red liquid that you have as an injection into a vein (intravenously) or as a drip (infusion) through a fine tube put into a vein (cannula).

Chemotherapy is usually given as a course of several cycles of treatment. The treatment plan for Doxorubicin depends on which cancer you are having treatment for.

Common Side Effects

Feeling very tired is the most disruptive side effect of all. P

Feeling sick

Hair loss

Sore mouth

Sensitively to the sun

Chlorambucil is another type of drug used in chemotherapy. This drug is used to treat mostly chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is one of a group of drugs called the alkylating agents. It works by sticking to one of the cancer cell's DNA (the cell's genetic code).

Side Effects:

Feeling or being sick - this...