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A Patient's Guide to Chemotherapy

Last updated 3 years ago

When you have cancer, chemotherapy is one of the treatment options your oncologist may recommend. There are a lot of misconceptions about this kind of treatment, which has changed dramatically over the last few decades. As with all of your cancer treatments, it’s important to understand what to expect so you can prepare effectively and understand what your next steps should be. If you’re scheduled for chemotherapy, here is what you need to know.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a drug-based cancer treatment that can be delivered via IV or in pill form. Usually, a combination of drugs is used during chemotherapy. Your oncologist will decide which drugs to use, how many sessions you need, and how often you will receive chemotherapy by evaluating a number of different factors, including the location of your cancer and whether it has metastasized, or spread. Chemotherapy can be particularly helpful in treating cancer that has spread beyond the primary tumor.

What Are the Side Effects?

Chemotherapy has a reputation for causing extreme nausea and hair loss. While some forms of chemotherapy can cause these side effects, it is not the case for every chemotherapy medication and every patient. Some people don’t have any side effects at all from their chemotherapy. Be sure to discuss your specific treatment plan with your oncologist to learn what you can expect, so you can prepare for things like taking time off of work and getting help around the house as needed.

Will I Need Additional Treatments?

In many cases, chemotherapy is one piece of a treatment plan that may include radiation, surgery, and other medications. Your oncologist will plan a treatment strategy for you depending on your particular case.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, trust Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point to provide the compassionate care you need. Our multidisciplinary team of experts can help you manage your physical and emotional symptoms during and after your cancer treatment. To learn more about this and our other hospital services, call (888) 741-5119. 


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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