What is Chemotherapy?

Category: Prescription Drugs

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Chemotherapy, or "chemo", is the use of medications to treat cancer. More specifically, chemo is used to kill cancer cells that are located anywhere inside the body. While any one chemotherapy medication can be used to treat cancer, they are often used in combination to improve outcomes.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Breast cancer 154 77
Adenocarcinoma (non-small cell lung cancer) 96 51
Non-small cell lung cancer 40 19
Squamous cell carcinoma (non-small cell lung cancer) 34 21
Small cell carcinoma (small cell lung cancer) 17 5
Small cell lung cancer 13 9

Show all 71 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 55
Moderate 93
Mild 68
None 18

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Chemotherapy

Side effect Patients
Nausea 73
Fatigue 57
Hair loss 52
Diarrhea 21
Bone pain 15
Decreased appetite 15

Show all 221 reported side effects

Why patients stopped taking Chemotherapy

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Course of treatment ended 22
Doctor's advice 3
Did not seem to work 2
Side effects too severe 2
See all 28 patients who've stopped receiving Chemotherapy

Duration

Currently receiving Chemotherapy

Duration Patients
1 - 6 months 6
6 months - 1 year 9
1 - 2 years 17
2 - 5 years 18
5 - 10 years 6

Stopped receiving Chemotherapy

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 18
1 - 6 months 205
6 months - 1 year 34
1 - 2 years 13
2 - 5 years 8
5 - 10 years 1
10 years or more 1
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 177
Usually 21
Sometimes 16
Never taken as prescribed 20
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 35
Somewhat hard to take 81
A little hard to take 47
Not at all hard to take 71
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 24
$100-199 8
$50-99 5
$25-49 3
< $25 53
Not specified 141

What people switch to and from

Patients started receiving Chemotherapy after stopping:

Treatment Patients
Afatinib (Gilotrif) 1
Anastrozole (Arimidex) 1
Chemotherapy 1
Erlotinib (Tarceva) 1
Exemestane (Aromasin) 1

Patients stopped receiving Chemotherapy and switched to:

Treatment Patients
Nivolumab (Opdivo) 6
Anastrozole (Arimidex) 2
Crizotinib (Xalkori) 2
Osimertinib (Tagrisso) 2
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) 2

Show all 15 treatments patients report switching to

Last updated:

7 patient evaluations for Chemotherapy

Dec 28, 2016 (Started Jul 01, 2014)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for multiple sclerosis)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Advice & Tips: I have not experienced any major exacerbations since starting it. A couple small flare ups which were easily fixed with pill form steroids

  • 0 helpful marks

Feb 27, 2012 (Started Feb 07, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for lung cancer)
  • Side effects
    Severe
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: 1 other Weekly
Advice & Tips: The Treatment was a breeze but my immune resistance and bloods fell, so I got a very bad chest infection AFTERWARDS
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks

Nov 10, 2011 (Started Aug 25, 2011)

  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for lung lobectomy)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (feet tingling)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: 25 mL Weekly

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 7 patient evaluations for Chemotherapy