Hepatitis C Community
Is treatment chemotherapy???
About This Community:

This forum is for questions about medical issues and research aspects of Hepatitis C such as, questions about being newly diagnosed, questions about current treatments, information and participation in discussions about research studies and clinical trials related to Hepatitis. If you would like to communicate with other people who have been touched by Hepatitis, please visit our new Hepatitis Social/Living with Hepatitis forum

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Is treatment chemotherapy???

I feel stupid for asking, but is tx a form of chemotherapy??  The shots and the pills twice a day?  
Related Discussions
22 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Trin
Blank
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
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
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.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Watched a show this Sunday on the Discovery Health Channel-- yes--they even treat Kidney cancer with interferon...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
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.
Blank
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.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
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
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
What does the fda say. Listed under chemo
Blank
412832_tn?1219078945
This is interesting... FYI...

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

Harry
Blank
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.
Blank
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  
Blank
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.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
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.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.

Trinity
Blank
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.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Hepatitis C Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
Top Hepatitis Answerers
1747881_tn?1358189534
Blank
hrsepwrguy
Greeley, CO
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
willbb
96938_tn?1189803458
Blank
FlGuy
South, FL
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
can-do-man
IN
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
copyman
163305_tn?1333672171
Blank
orphanedhawk
Rural Mural, CA