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Why Is It Always Termed "chemotherapy"?  
User currently offlineDuke From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 1155 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Why do doctors etc always call cancer drug treatment "chemotherapy" but not other kinds of drug treatment? From what I understand, chemotherapy is technically any use of traditional drugs, I.E. drugs whose active ingredients are chemicals. I may be wrong but I think that would mean that even taking aspirin is undergoing chemotherapy. So why don't people just use plain English and say "cancer drugs"?

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8455 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2437 times:
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Cos chemotherapy sounds expensive and they can charge a fortune for it.


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User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20743 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2430 times:

Traditionally, chemotherapy drugs are toxic and inhibit cell division, that in the end is theraputic, versus courses of treatment that are wholly theraputic.


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User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2406 times:

Because the primary alternatives in cancer treatment are surgery and radiation therapy. It's to indicate which of the few possible treatments for the particular affliction are being applied.

User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3208 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

Quoting Duke (Thread starter):
"cancer drugs"

This isn't really a nice term is it? Chemotherapy sounds better.



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User currently offlineFrancoBlanco From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
Because the primary alternatives in cancer treatment are surgery and radiation therapy

 checkmark 

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
chemotherapy drugs are toxic and inhibit cell division

 checkmark 

Sometimes antibiotics are also referred to as chemotherapeutics since they are toxic for cells (i.e. bacteria), too.

Sebastian


User currently offlineHighpeaklad From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2345 times:

You are right, chemotherapy means treatment with drugs, its not specific to cancer. However, for some reason it has come to mean "cancer treatment", why I don't know, but there's nothing we can do about it. To try would only cause distress. Many years ago my friend's dad went to the dentistwith an infection. They said he would need a course of antimicrobial chemotherapy ie. antibiotics. This is a perfectly correct thing to say, however he just focused on chemotherapy, so by the time he got home he thought he had cancer and was going to die! His wife was a nurse, and a quick call to the dentist sorted it all out, but he did have a bad time over it.
Its just the way language develops. eg many people in the UK , if they are going to use a vacuum cleaner would refer to it as hoovering or using a hoover, regardless of whether the machine has been made by Hoover or not.

Still, getting back to your question, I don't know why chemotherapy is only used in relation to cancer,it just is.


Chris



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