A woman undergoing chemotherapy treatment for uterine cancer asks the nurse how chemotherapeutic medications help treat her cancer. Which of the following statements by the nurse is accurate?

"Chemotherapeutic drugs attack all rapidly dividing cells in your body."

Explanation

• Most chemotherapy drugs attack rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells, bone marrow cells, the gastrointestinal tract and hair follicles.

• Cancer cells in the body are known to rapidly divide as they behave very differently from normal cells. They are mutated stem cells which underwent structural changes.

• Some newer antineoplastic drugs act more specifically on cancer cells by attacking proteins that are abnormally expressed in cancer cells.

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