When combined with other treatments, chemotherapy can:
make a tumour smaller before surgery or radiation therapy. This is called neoadjuvant chemo.
destroy cancer cells that may remain after treatment with surgery or radiation therapy. This is called adjuvant chemo.
kill cancer cells that have returned or spread to other parts of your body.
common chemotherapy drugs in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the following are the commonly used chemo drugs:
Adriamycin (doxorubicin hydrochloride)
The list is endless. Chemotherapy drugs are expensive. For ovarian cancer for example, a single course of chemotherapy drugs in Nigeria cost about N120,000 naira. For a full chemo to shrink ovarian cancer, you need 6 courses. That means it will cost you about N720, 000 naira for a full course of chemo for ovarian cancer.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) covers some of this medications. If you are on NHIS, it will reduce your cancer treatment cost burden.
Chemo not only kills fast growing cancer cells, but also kills or slows the growth of healthy cells that grow and divide quickly. The common side effects are mouth ulcers, stomach ulcers, hair loss, vomiting, nausea, anemia, tiredness, skin changes and burns.
cost of chemotherapy
The cost of chemo depends on:
the type of cancer
the types and doses of chemotherapy drugs used
duration of chemo
frequency of chemo given (daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly?)
is the chemo given on outpatient basis or on admission
other treatment procedure before chemo like blood transfusion
the centre you are getting the chemo
A full course of chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment in UBTH is about N700,000 naira.
In LUTH, a full course chemo for prostate cancer ia about N640,000 naira.