If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, you may be a candidate for chemotherapy. Colon cancer chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill colon cancer cells. There are several types of chemotherapy each of which have side effects. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is a term used by doctors to refer to drugs that can erradicate cancer cells. Chemotherapy was formed from mustard gases during WW1 . The term "chemotherapy" literally means "chemical treatment" and is one way to help the body fight off cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be given in several ways, including intravenously by injection, intravenously with a pump, or even in pill form. If chemotherapy is given prior to surgery, it may shrink the tumor so that the surgeon can completely remove it with fewer complications. Chemotherapy is recommended for stage 2 colon cancer, and usually recommended for stage 3 and stage 4 colon cancer. Chemotherapy for colon cancer can involve one or more of eight possible drugs off the chemotherapy drugs list. The most popular of these drugs is 5- Fluorouracil (5-FU). It is usually used in combination with leucovorin (a vitamin), making 5-FU more effective. 5-FU is given intravenously; however, recently a pill form has been developed. For patients where the cancer has spread from the colon, a variety of other drugs may be given . Camptosar, Eloxatin, Avastin, Erbitux, and Vectibix are some of the drugs given. Side Effects Colon cancer chemotherapy is often associated with unpleasant side effects . Chemotherapy is used to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells ,but it also kills other rapidly dividing healthy cells in our bodies. Undergoing chemotherapy comes with significant side effects that can place quite a strain on their body The side effects of chemotherapy may include: * Nausea and vomiting * Loss of appetite * Hair loss * Mouth sores * Rash on the hands and feet * Diarrhea Other common side effects include lowered red and white blood cell count (which can lead to anemia and increased risk of infection), sun sensitivity, and darkening of the skin and nail beds. Effects on the bone marrow result in an increased risk of infection (due to low white blood cell counts),and bleeding or bruising from minor injuries (due to low blood platelet counts). The side effects that occur with chemotherapy depend upon the particular drugs given and the individual. Each chemotherapy drug has side effects, although not everyone will be effected the same way. In a lot cases, the side effects can be treated or prevented with medications . Changing your diet may also help relieve some of the effects of the drugs. Many of the effects of chemotherapy are manageable, especially with the help of your doctors . The effects related to the drugs will wear off when chemotherapy is stopped. Colon cancer chemotherapy is a systemic therapy, meaning that the drugs enter the bloodstream and go through the body. Doctors can suggest alternative ways to help relieve symptoms that may occur during and after a patients colon cancer treatment. The best strategy should be discussed between you and your doctor. Get more information by visiting Colon Cancer Chemotherapy Related Articles - chemotherapy side effects, chemotherapy for cancer, chemotherapy treatment, colon cancer, chemotherapy, Email this Article to a Friend! Receive Articles like this one direct to your email box!Subscribe for free today!