More patients die from Chemothearpy than the cancer itself: study

So far chemotherapy is the most widely used medical treatment for cancer. The question of whether the procedure is any effective on one side, experts have started to question the side effects that have to face by the patient. New research studies have been put in place to discover the dark side of chemotherapy. All of them showed one thing to be true: the treatment can be severely damaging for the person undergoing it!

In fact, one study concluded by UK scientists stated the procedure to be a bigger cause of death than cancer itself.

What this really does is raise a question on the wide popularity of this method? Should doctors continue using it or is there a need more than ever to consider the alternatives.

Chemotherapy-related deaths

Detailed comprehensive research was carried by scientists associated with Cancer Research UK. Accordingly, the researchers examined the data of hundreds of patients who had been diagnosed with cancer and died within the month’s duration of chemotherapy. The data comprised mostly of patients with lung and breast cancer.

On further observation, scientists established a relationship between chemotherapy and early deaths. It was not cancer itself which proved to be deadly at the end of the day. Rather, it was the medical treatment for the condition that ultimately cost the life of the patient. Henceforth, there is a strong case for supporting the mortality rate linked with the procedure.

In Lancashire Teaching Hospital and Cambridge University Hospital the highest proportion of deaths were reported. 28% and 20% of the patients who underwent chemotherapy failed to survive within the first month.

That is not to say, a high mortality rate was not observed after the first month time. The statistics continued to show similar trend even afterwards. Either way, the research has led scientists to conclude that chemotherapy isn’t as safe as people normally perceive it to be.

What’s next?

There is no denying that chemo happens to be the most frequently used treatment for cancer. In some cases, the procedure would yield positive results where the patient is able to recover from the condition. However, if you ask the patient themselves, they would complain about how miserable chemo makes their lives. The study coming from the UK more or less validates the concerns of the patients showing an increased mortality rate associated with the treatment.

On further examinations, scientists were able to evaluate why that really is the case.

On paper, chemotherapy is designed to target the cancer-causing cells in the body. However, at times the accuracy target is not achieved as it is supposed to. Which in turn results in the killing of healthy cells in the body consequently leading to the death of the person.

All that being said, we now know the procedure to not be 100% effective but at the same time instance, we need to live with the reality. The reality which tells us that so far we do not have any other viable alternative to chemo.

However, that does not mean doctors cannot exercise any caution. They should thoroughly examine the patient before proceeding with the chemotherapy decision.

Till then, we should hope for medical scientists to look for better alternatives.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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