Chemotherapy has been used as a treatment for cancer for nearly half a century, according to the American Cancer Society. While the chemical substance used in the treatment has been known to attack rapidly growing cancer cells, it also comes with a number of strong and common side effects, ranging from nausea and vomiting to hair loss, bone marrow changes and an impact on memory.
Additionally, recent research by the Ohio State University found that a chemo drug used to prevent breast cancer can also fuel the spread of lung disease.
The Dark Side of Chemotherapy
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed data correlated from women with breast cancer alongside a study performed on mice to determine if the results could be relevant.
In the human data collected, researchers found that a gene called Atf3, which is turned on by stress, was higher in patients who had chemotherapy. This gene is known to distribute cancer cells to the lungs and ultimately fertilize them. This data was compared to another study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine which showed a similar observation in the mice.
“More information is needed to develop a strong conclusion on chemotherapy.”
While this information offers valuable data, the researchers believe there is more needed to develop a strong conclusion on chemotherapy. It is, however, important to be aware of the possibility.
“At this point, what our study and the recent literature on chemotherapy taught us is that