Chemotherapy is a category of standardized drug administration of various types for the treatment of cancer. With a curative intent, some combinations of drugs are administered to a patient to prolong their life and also to bring about a reduction in the symptoms shown by the patient. Chemotherapy treatment is considered to be one of the major categories of medical oncology. Many people around the world are prescribed to undergo chemotherapy treatment instead of undergoing a surgical procedure. But many are frightened with the side effects of this treatment as it is believed to reduce the quality of life of the patients.
Chemotherapy is a procedure where non-specific intracellular poisons are used, which are specifically related to preventing the process of mitosis or the natural cell division of the cancerous cells. This technique rather excludes those agents that are responsible for selective extracellular growth signal blockade (signal transduction blockers). If spoken about these agents used in chemotherapy, it has been found that most of them are cytotoxic in nature due to their property of interfering with natural mitosis. However, the cells of cancer can differ widely in terms of showing susceptibility to these administered agents.
Chemotherapy can be defined as a way of mass destruction of stress cells, which would eventually lead to the death of the cells when apoptosis is initiated. The commonly known side effects of chemotherapy can be traced back to the process of damaging normal non-cancerous cells, which are in the process of rapid division. They are sensitive to anti-mitotic drugs that are being administered to the patient and such cells may include the cells of the hair follicles, digestive tract lining, and bone marrow. But nowadays treatment options have undergone a lot of modification by which these side effects can be well countered.
Various options of drugs are available to treat different types of cancer including the following:
Alkylating agents: These kinds of agents prove to be extremely beneficial during the cell’s resting phase. The various kinds of alkylating agents that are employed in chemotherapy treatment include the following:
Nitrosoureas are unique from the rest for choices in chemotherapy treatment due to their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and treating tumors of the brain.
Plant alkaloids: Plant alkaloids employed for chemotherapy treatment are derived from plants. These include vinca alkaloids, taxanes, podophyllotoxins, and camptothecan analogs. The plant alkaloids are cell cycle specific agents, which enables them to attack the dividing cells in various stages of their division cycle.
Antimetabolites: This kind of chemotherapy treatment involves substances that are similar in composition to the normal substances present in the cell. When these substances get incorporated in the process of cellular metabolism, then the cell is no longer able to divide. They are also cell cycle specific and can be classified further according to the substance in the cell with which they interfere.
Topoisomerase inhibitors: When the topoisomerase enzymes in the body ( topoisomerase I and II) are inhibited as a result of chemotherapy drugs, then those drugs are referred to as topoisomerase inhibitors. During the chemotherapy, the topoisomerase enzymes are responsible for controlling structural manipulation of the DNA which is necessary for the purpose of replication.
Miscellaneous antineoplastics: Different types of drugs make each chemotherapy treatment process unique. Enzymes, retinoids, adrenocortical steroid inhibitor, ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor or antimicrotubule agents can be used as chemotherapy drugs.
Some of the chemotherapy drugs are involved in damaging the cell at the time of splitting while others do their jobs when the gene copies are being made by the cell prior to division. The cells that are in resting phase are very less likely to get damaged. Different kind of drugs damage the cells at different stages and hence a combination of various drugs will increase the chance of damaging more number of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy drugs can be given in a variety of ways. At times due to the destructive nature of stomach enzymes, some of the drugs are impossible to administer as pills. While for other drugs the effects are better realized when administered intravenously. Some of them can be injected into muscles while other can be given directly to the abdominal cavity and bladder directly.
They are administered orally and are available in various forms such as liquids, tablets, capsules, and pill. All these forms can be absorbed by the stomach or under the tongue. The protective coating around them is broken down by digestive juices of the stomach and then the medication is directly absorbed by the lining of the stomach. There are some which have a certain amount of time delay between the administration and the actual release of the medicine.
With the help of a short needle, the drug is administered into the region between the muscle and skin but it does not penetrate as far as the layer of muscles. They are used for some biologic response modifiers and support drugs of chemotherapy. If the platelet count of the patient is low, then it is less likely that such injections can cause any bleeding more than that in case if it was an intra muscular injection.
In this case, the injection penetrates the muscle layer and a large needle has to be used for this so that the medication gets deposited in the tissues of the muscle. Most chemotherapy cannot be implemented via intramuscular injection owing to its harshness. People with low platelet counts are not advised with this due to the possibility of bleeding within the muscle.
This also gets absorbed rapidly in the circulation system in the body. It offers more flexibility, thus making it more common. Continuous infusions are ensured through this method for days and weeks if required. Some of the types of intravenous infusions include the following:
In this procedure, the drugs are meant to reach the cerebrospinal fluid. The blood-brain barrier stops many drugs to reach it and hence in two ways it can be done; one is the lumbar puncture and the other is Ommaya reservoir. A dome-shaped device with a catheter attached is placed in the subcutaneous layer on the scalp. It is threaded to the lateral ventricle of the brain. A small needle is placed through the ommaya reservoir to inject drugs. This is good for chemotherapy for leukemia.
In this case, the drug can be directly drained into the abdominal cavity, the general cavity surrounding the organs. The organs, as a result, get bathed in the medication before it gets absorbed into the tumor site.
Here the drug is given directly to the artery supplying blood to a tumor. This kind of treatment is beneficial for colon cancer, limb melanoma, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, and some other forms of cancer.
A urinary catheter is used to access the urinary bladder and useful for people suffering from superficially invasive bladder cancer.
This is the chemotherapy for lung cancer where the drug is administered in the pleural cavity to control malignant pleural effusions and used for symptom relief.
A gliadel wafer can be placed in the cavity after removal of tumor in the brain. It can be left for 2 or 3 weeks to ensure that all cancer cells are finally killed in the area surrounding the brain tumor site.
In this case, a cream is applied to the skin and used to treat cancerous lesions on the skin itself. Not used very commonly but used for treating skin cancer.
The cost of Chemotherapy in Poland may differ from one medical facility to the other. The Chemotherapy package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The Chemotherapy cost in Poland includes the cost of anesthesia, medicines, hospitalization and the surgeon's fee. A prolonged hospital stay due to delayed recovery, new diagnosis and complications after surgery may increase the cost of Chemotherapy in Poland.
There are many hospitals across the country that offer Chemotherapy to international patients. The following are some of the most renowned hospitals for Chemotherapy in Poland:
The recovery of the patient many vary, depending on several factors. However, on an average, patient is supposed to stay for about 21 days in the country after discharge. This duration of stay is recommended to complete all the necessary follow-ups and control tests to ensure that the surgery was successful.
Poland is undoubtedly one of the best countries for Chemotherapy in the world. It offers the best medical expertise and good patient experience at an affordable cost. Some of such countries are:
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There are certain expenses additional to the Chemotherapy cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.
Chemotherapy in Poland is offered in almost all metropolitan cities, including the following:
After the Chemotherapy takes place, the average duration of stay at the hospital is about 1 days. During the recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and control tests are performed to see that everything is okay. If required, physiotherapy sessions are also planned during recovery in hospital.
There are more than 1 hospitals that offer Chemotherapy in Poland. The above mentioned clinics have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. These hospitals comply with all the rules and regulations as dictated by the regulatory bodies and medical association in Poland
Poland is one of the leading medical tourism destinations with top clinics, such as:
These hospitals house highly experienced and well-trained doctors who can handle even the most complicated cases. Equipped with state-of-art infrastructure, these clinics can do different kinds of surgeries and they have several specialties. The hospitals provide affordable, world-class treatments. They are also equipped with all modern facilities which help take the patient experience to the next level.
The hospitals in Poland receive accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Launched in 1998, Poland’s Hospital Accreditation Programme focuses on uplifting the quality of care provided by healthcare and improving patient safety standards. There is a strict process to receive accreditation. Hospitals are mandated to follow appropriate procedures defined by the accreditation body. NCQA has a comprehensive framework for evaluating the hospitals and the quality parameters are quality of patient care and adherence to international standards.
Poland has emerged as one of the major medical tourist destinations in the world and has gained popularity among patients who come here mainly from Western Europe. Some of the main important reasons for the popularity of Poland's tourism sector are the superior quality of services, well-trained medical staff, short waiting times for surgeries, and cheap prices of treatments. Poland has the best hospitals which provide world-class medicine with a personal touch to patients from across the globe. All the healthcare facilities in Poland are strictly monitored by the Polish Ministry of Health, which ensures the maintenance of standards of hygiene and patient care.All medical service providers and hospitals in Poland are subordinate to the Polish Ministry of Health, which looks after the maintenance of standards of hygiene and patient care.
A Schengen Visa allows a person to travel to Poland to seek medical treatment. A person with a Schengen Visa can stay in Poland for a maximum period of 90 days. The essential documents required for applying for a medical visa are:
All the submitted documents are thoroughly checked by the Poland embassy before issuing a medical visa.
The most sought-after medical treatments available in Poland include:
Plastic surgery is the top procedure in the country. The plastic surgeons perform the procedures with high precion and accuracy. Most of the experts are trained in European clinics and have global exposure. Poland has reported the highest sucess rate in IVF in whole Europe. Around 32 percent of IVF are successful per treatment cycle. Several factors conntribute to the popularity of these popular proceduces in Poland, such as world-class hospitals with superior infrastructure and highly-skilled doctors, fast recovery, and use of cutting-edge medical technology.
Poland has some major cities that are considered epicentres of medical tourism. Most of the these cities are accessible by planes. Poland’s major medical tourism destinations are Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, Szczecin and Wroclaw. Most of these cities have an efficient public transportation system, language assistance, cheap accommodation options, and connectivity. One of the most visited islands in Poland, Warsaw is medical tourist heaven due to its excellent scenic value which helps in the speedy recovery of patients through relaxation and rejuvenation.
Clinics in Poland offer world-class healthcare facilities to patients across the globe. Some of the facilities available at hospitals in Poland are:
Hospitals in Poland help international patients at all stages of their treatment journey, right from queries, preparations for their travel, arrival, visit of the hospital, and follow-up care. The clinics strive to serve the patients in the best way by meeting all the needs that you or your family members may have during your stay at the hospital.
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