INTRODUCTION TO CHEMOTHERAPY
Cancer occurs when the normal mechanisms that dictate when and how often a cell replicates itself are breached and the processes that should prevent replication are overridden. The aberrant cell replicates uncontrollably, eventually crowding normal tissue, disrupting normal organ function, infiltrating the circulatory system to spread itself to distant areas of the body, and, if not stopped, causing death due to the inability of organs to perform their vital functions. The goal of medical intervention is to interrupt the rogue cells’ runaway proliferation. There are a number of tactics used to accomplish this, including surgery, radiation, and medications. The focus of this course is the use of antineoplastic medications, which is known as chemotherapy.