Oct 16, 2019
In this episode, Dr. JYP has a candid and enlightening chemotherapy conversation with her friend, colleague, and USA Health University Hospital oncologist Dr. Sachin Pai. Dr. Pai shares what chemotherapy really is, and he addresses some of the myths, misconceptions, and fears associated with this incredibly common and effective treatment. Listeners can learn about the many innovative treatment options that are now available and how oncologists and doctors determine a patient's specific cancer treatment. Lastly, Dr. Pai talks about the dreaded chemo side effects, how doctors can control these issues, and some the chemotherapy improvements over the last 30 years.
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- Chemotherapy is a word that comes from "chemical" and "therapy." So, even an antibiotic or a Tylenol that you take is chemotherapy.
- Knowing the patient, their lifestyle, other medical problems, and any previous cancer treatments are all factors when determining treatment.
- Today, oncologists and patients have many more cancer treatment options available compared to 10 years ago.
- Cancer chemotherapy has improved so much over the past decade that even if a patient experiences some of the side effects, it's probably no worse than the fear of getting chemo.
Sachin Pai, M.D., M.S.C.I. - Website
The Docs Said:
For cancer treatment, chemotherapy is still a mainstay, and it's probably going to be that way for a while. Right now, I think chemotherapy helps a lot of patients by keeping them away from cancer and curing their cancer. If the other cancer treatment advances and innovations like immunotherapy pick up, someday I hope people will say, "Oh, they used to do chemo at the time." - Dr. Sachin Pai
I am a medical oncologist. I treat cancer patients with chemotherapy and some of the newer medicines like targeted therapy and immunotherapy. - Dr. Sachin Pai
Cancer chemotherapy is basically a drug that's designed to kill the cancer cells. Cancer cells divide very fast, and the chemo is designed to kill those cells that are dividing fast. - Dr. Sachin Pai
Your doctor is testing the tumor to see if it is mutated. Or, you're testing the patient or the patient's family to see if they inherited that mutation. - Dr. Pierce
It's very important to know your patient first and what previous treatment they have received. It does make a difference in what treatment we choose. - Dr. Sachin Pai
In this day and age, not only do we as physicians, certainly in oncology and medical oncology, have many more treatment options available, but the patients now have a lot more options as well. - Dr. Pierce
The odds of beating these cancers are so much higher. Even if we can't guarantee a cure, it's quite possible that you would live out your normal life and pass away from something else other than your cancer. - Dr. Pierce
This science is evolving so quickly. Chemotherapy is so different from what somebody may have experienced from a friend or family member even a few years ago. - Dr. Pierce
There's almost nobody who complains of nausea and vomiting these days because we have so many good drugs that can control the side effects. - Dr. Sachin Pai
I always tell my patients that the first one is the hardest because every chemotherapy treatment after that is totally predictable. You know that their experience will be very similar and you take away that fear of the unknown. - Dr. Pierce