Chemotherapy is a powerful tool against cancer using several different kinds of medication. It can be given through an intravenous (IV) line, by pills or liquid, or by injection. Typically, chemotherapy is given in outpatient infusion centers over the course of days, weeks or months, depending on your treatment plan. In some cases, you may need to stay in the hospital during treatment.
Because chemotherapy is so powerful, it also affects healthy cells, especially the ones that grow rapidly. You may experience side effects that impact your mouth, stomach, blood, skin and hair. You may experience infections, increased bruising or fatigue. Your treatment may cause your hair to fall out temporarily. You might also have a poor appetite, nausea, diarrhea or mouth and lip sores. Chemo is usually given in cycles so that your normal cells can recover before the next therapy. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help lessen these side effects.
We continue to stay at the forefront of cancer care, and continue to seek out more effective chemotherapy drugs, many of which are offered to patients through clinical trials.