Why does chemotherapy make you sick?

Why does chemotherapy make you sick? by @franklinveaux

Answer by Franklin Veaux:

So here's the thing. People are always talking about how this or that kills cancer cells. If you go onto the so-called natural or alternative “medicine” sites on the Web, you'll find all sorts of links to all sorts of studies about how this or that supposed remedy, like, wow, totally kills cancer in the laboratory! Groovy!

But here's the thing: it's easy to kill cancer cells. You have at least a dozen products under your kitchen sink that kill cancer cells.

What's very, very hard to do is kill cancer cells without killing your normal, healthy cells. All the products and natural “remedies” that kill cancer cells will, if you manage to get them in your body in high enough concentrations to kill your cancer, also kill you.

Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells. You know what the technical word for something that kills cells is? The word for something that kills cells is “poison.” Chemotherapy drugs, like alternative “medicine” such as amygdalin, is poison. Whether we're talking conventional medicine or alternative “medicine,” anything that can kill your cancer cells can kill your normal cells just as well[1].

It's very tough to find things that poison cancer cells without poisoning normal cells. One difference between cancer cells and normal cells is cancer cells divide uncontrollably, so chemotherapy drugs tend to target cells that divide rapidly. Unfortunately, that includes the cells that make blood cells and the cells in hair follicles, which is why anemia and hair loss are common side effects.

Your cancer cells are your cells. They're just your cells that are dividing too fast. Killing some of your cells but not others turns out to be hard to do.

[1] Except amygdalin (“Laetrile”). Amygdalin is a cyanide poison. Cyanide works by blocking cellular use of oxygen. Cancer cells tend to be able to use both oxygen-based (aerobic) and lactic acid (anaerobic) respiration, and many cancers prefer anaerobic respiration. Amygdalin really does kill cancer cells, that is 100% true. Problem is, it kills normal cells even more easily. A dose of amygdalin that will kill your cancer will kill you stone dead first. Cyanide is nasty, nasty stuff.

Why does chemotherapy make you sick?

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