Chemotherapy Informative Essay

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“Chemotherapy is brutal. The goal is pretty much to kill everything in your body without killing you,” says Rashida Jones, actress and daughter of a cancer survivor. She is not far off the mark: chemotherapy is a variety of chemical drug treatments designed to slow or kill the quickly dividing cells that make up cancer. Cancer can attack any individual, in any stage of life, in any part of the body. Despite the fact that almost 40% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, cures and treatments are few and far between. Chemotherapy--in conjunction with radiation and surgery--is one of the leading treatments for all sorts of cancer. But this is a harsh _____, and it takes a physiological toll on the human body. In the early 19th century, German chemist Paul Ehrlich coined the term chemotherapy to refer to chemicals used to treat diseases. Before this time, surgery was the only option for the treatment of malignant tumors, and it was only effective in about a third of cases due …show more content…
During this time, research was done on vesicant war gases. In an accident, sulfur mustards were spilled on a group of troops. Observations of their bone marrow and lymph nodes showed marked depletion. Milton Winternitz of Yale began to study the chemistry of the mustard compounds in search of potential therapeutic effects through experimentation on mice. Regression was found through the use of nitrogen mustard, which spurred human testing. It proved successful in lymphoma patients in the 1940s, and the results were published in 1946, causing a burst of support for chemotherapy and other alkylating compounds. However, the regressions proved to be brief and incomplete, so the search continued. Folic acid was examined next, and studies concluded that folate antagonists (now known as methotrexate) led to unquestionable remissions. Penicillin based antitumor antibiotics came next, stemming again from

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