NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Rectal Cancer, Version 1.2017
Chemotherapy, or “chemo,” includes drugs that
disrupt the life cycle of cancer cells. The types of
chemotherapy differ in the way they work. Some kill
cancer cells by damaging their DNA or by disrupting
the making of DNA. Others interfere with cell parts
that are needed for making new cells. Thus, no new
cells are made to replace dying cells. Chemotherapy
can affect both cancer and normal cells.
Some chemotherapy drugs work when cells are in
an active growth phase.
See Figure 12
. During the
active growth phase, cells grow and divide to form
a new cell. Chemotherapy that disrupts the growth
phase works well for cancer cells that are growing
and dividing quickly. Other chemotherapy drugs work
in any growth or resting phase.
Overview of cancer treatments
Chemotherapy and the cell cycle
A cell goes through many changes to divide into two cells. Science has grouped these changes
into 7 main phases. There may be another phase of rest, too. Some chemotherapy drugs work in
any phase. Other chemotherapy drugs work in one or two growth phases. In growth phases, DNA
is copied and two full sets of chromosomes are made. A full set of chromosomes is pulled into
each end of the cell. The cell then divides into two cells each with their own set of chromosomes.
Copyright © 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Chemotherapy may work in some or all phases of cell division.
I was in shock until my ignorance
began to be replaced by
information, then hope began to
Survivor, Stage III