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Chemotherapy: FOLFOX

How Chemotherapy Works

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As adults, most of the body's cells spend most of their time in a resting state. They only divide if they need to repair damage. When cells divide they split into two identical new cells. In cancer the cells keep on dividing until there is a mass of cells. This mass of cells becomes a lump called a tumor.

Cancer cells divide much more often than most normal cells. 

Chemotherapy flows throughout the body through the bloodstream and damages dividing cells. Cells in the process of dividing are more at risk of being damaged by chemotherapy.

As a general matter, chemotherapy kills the cell by:

  • Damaging the part of the control centre inside each cell that makes cells divide, or
  • Interrupting the chemical processes involved in cell division. 

For an in depth discussion of how chemotherapy works, see the American Cancer Society discusison by clicking here offsite link.

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