Spinal Tumor Treatment: Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a type of systemic medical treatment that impacts cancer cells throughout the body. It is the most common treatment for metastatic cancers and, when successful, chemotherapy can shrink tumors and ease pain.
A systemic treatment
A systemic treatment requires that you take chemotherapy drugs orally, through the mouth, or by injection. Your bloodstream then delivers the cancer killing drugs to all parts of your body.
As chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells, they can also harm the healthy cells with which they come in contact. Common chemotherapy side effects include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and reduced energy.
How does chemotherapy treat metastatic tumors?
Despite its temporary side effects, chemotherapy is often chosen to treat metastatic cancers because of its ability to impact areas throughout the body. However, this broad approach to treating the disease means that those areas needing immediate attention may not show progress for weeks. Because of its gradual impact, physicians and caregivers rarely view chemotherapy as the best pain relief option when treating metastatic spinal tumors.