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Is treatment chemotherapy???
I feel stupid for asking, but is tx a form of chemotherapy??  The shots and the pills twice a day?  
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It is technically called combination antiviral therapy.  My doctor refers to it as chemo.  Personally, I agree with that but only to a certain extent.  They can call it chicken soup or molasses, doesn't matter.  I just know it's extremely unpleasant no matter what it's called.
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362971 tn?1201990634
   Depends on who you talk to. I believe it is. When I first read some literature on it years ago it was descibed as "one of the first forms of chemo".  I had an argument on this forum a few months ago about this. If it looks like s***, feels like s***, and tastes like s*** ,then it must be s***.
  
   Because cancer drugs today are more precise and target the particular type of cancer some docs don't consider Interferon chemo any more. But most docs still do. It gives you the same side effects if not worse and for more prolonged period of time.

   Most people get chills, fevers, weakness, itchieness, rashes, sore throats, sores in their mouths,infections, etc, etc, etc.  So I would say yeah, without a doubt.

Bobby
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If you scroll to the top of the posts where it says 'Discussions' and then scroll right to the search box, you can put in 'chemotherapy' and see there are 380 hits on the topic in this forum alone. As you can see, many people have asked the same question.
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Thanks everyone.  Portann, I did the search and don't feel like such an idiot for asking the question.  I, too, am inclined to think that it is chemo.  At least a form of it.  
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Watched a show this Sunday on the Discovery Health Channel-- yes--they even treat Kidney cancer with interferon...
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I don't know the answer to this question. I wasn't aware that Interferon was used to treat kidney cancer but I did know it's used for melanoma.

But just because you use something to treat cancer, doesn't mean it's chemotherapy. For example, hormone therapy is used to treat some cancers.

I see an oncologist who clearly distinguishes between Interferon and chemotherapy in her conversation.

But regardless of what is officially correct, I don't know why you wouldn't refer to it as Interferon or combination therapy. To call it chemotherapy is just confusing, since many people will think you have a form of cancer.
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220090 tn?1379170787
Personally, I think it is chemical therapy or in its shortened form, chemo.

That does not mean it is related to the drugs most commonly used to treat cancer. They act on fast growing cells and kill them.  That is why bone marrow and hair follicles are attacked as well as cancer cells.  Interferon and Riba are an entirely different class of drugs.  
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Some people are comfy in their skins calling it chemo. I'm just not, although I tried this once or twice. I knew instinctively it's not how I'd refer to it again, despite the real hardship of not having an easy way to describe it to others. You'll know what works for you, sooner or later.
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Technically it is chemo and I used to call it Chemo with a couple of friends who I didn't want to disclose my Hep C with. Nothing specific, I just left it at that, and they didn't inquire any more. So as not to cause alarm, I always tempered it by saying something like " Don't worry, I'm not dying or anything close to that -- I just have to do this for a period of time and then all will be OK". That sort of kept my privacy without alarming anyone more than they might have been taking one look at me with my anemia, weight loss and all. I do not recommend telling too many people you are treating for Hep C because of the stigma but some people choose to. Whatever works for you.

-- Jim
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Dont know where my first post went, but thought I posted something please excuse me if it shows up twice. I recently had to get a certified doctors note for work, so days I missed didnt count against me.  In the letter my doctor refered to it as a type of chemo and to treat it as such if that helps. Shut my boss right up and I have only missed 4 days in 6 1/2 months.

Shelly
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What does the fda say. Listed under chemo
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412832 tn?1219078945
This is interesting... FYI...

http://www.chemocare.com/bio/peg_interferon.asp
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220090 tn?1379170787
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
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220090 tn?1379170787
Pardon the dark humor
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372366 tn?1284407473
Thats a yes for me.

Harry
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179856 tn?1333550962
Of course it's chemo - it's a form of chemical therapy and is used to treat cancers and MS and many serious diseases.

You can call it whatever you want to call it but in the end if you are injecting and using chemicals in your body to heal / fight a disease- yes it's a form of "chemo".

It helps drive home the fact to some people exactly what we are going through. There are many chemo's for many different diseases........and nobody needs be explainned anything about it, but it helped me TREMENDOUSLY to be able to have the big bosses at work know what I was going through.
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408795 tn?1324939275
This question comes up quite often.  I haven't tx'ed yet, but I am getting close.  When I start tx I will tell anyone I have to at work that I am on chemo.  Since I've never been on actual chemotherapy that's what it will be for me anyways.  I have a big thing about not telling anyone about my HepC status, because I've gotten the stare and the "freak of nature look".  lol  Trust me on this, be very careful who you tell you have HepC and who you tell you're going thru tx for it.  I have a civil service job and it's a known fact that alot of those people have no social lives at all, so they gossip like there's no tomorrow.  I know as I've been in the gossip column at least twice.  Also I work with enforcement officer's, so they don't need to know.  If you mention HepC, ppl think drug addicts, no matter how you got infected.  I had a situation a few days ago when I asked for time off and a supervisor asked me what the nature of my medical status was.  I tore him a new one, he needs to know better especially as a supervisor.  A person's medical health status is off limits in public sector jobs.  God Bless  
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179856 tn?1333550962
A person's medical health status is off limits in public sector jobs.

Even though it isn't allowed and we are protected by laws wheN I told my boss what I had he ran and told everyone in HR exactly what I said please not to tell.  Then they sent out numerous 'confidential' emails to the top execs here discussing my status and condition and things like "is she contagious?"

It is VERY important you don't tell people who you aren't sure will protect your privacy.  I was lucky and got switched to a higher up boss who protected me...if I had remainned working for the other guy I would have been let go a long, long time ago because of the prejudice.

It is AMAZING how people seem to forget all about the laws which are in place to protect us and I'm just glad I copied all those super secret emails just in case something happened.
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The doctors will tell you that the inteferon and ribavirin is a form of chemo. I don't know what form means but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck guess what? Yes you are doing small doses of chemo every week. It poisons your body and eats the virus and every other living cell in your body. Thats why it has to be monitored so closely. Thats also why everyone experiences this mibromyalgia feeling like they wish they were dead. I hope mine goes away some day, but 10 months after treatment I haven't seen it. The only thing positive thing I have seen so far is my memory is starting to come back to me.
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The correct name for HCV treatment is antiviral therapy.  The interferon and ribaviron do not eat the virus but rather ramp up our immunune system to attack and kill the virus.

I've heard antiviral therapy likened to chemo but with cancer chemotherapy the same side effects are a given for everyone and they are brutal and incapacitating.  That is not the case with antiviral and many people do not experiece harsh or debilitating side effects with antiviral therapy but I suppose it's how one perceives the experience.

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1225178 tn?1318984204
I've tried explaining it both ways. If you say anti-viral therapy, few people have a clue to what that is, or they think it is like taking Tamiflu for the flu... and they expect you to feel better after starting tx... which you don't. Then you have to take all that time explaining why it isn't like that. I actually found it much easier to call it chemo therapy, saying it is kinda like the other, but not as bad, but it takes a long time. The definition of chemo therapy it to treat something with chemicals... it has evolved a lot with all of the cancer treatment, but you're not being dishonest if you call it chemo-therapy.
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