Chemotherapy, also known as chemo or anticancer medication, is medication that is used to destroy, kill, shrink, or slow the growth of cancer cells. There are over 100 different chemo drugs. Some cancers only need one kind of chemotherapy drug to treat, while others may need to be used in combination with surgery and/or radiation.
The main goal of chemotherapy is to:
Chemotherapy can be given through:
Treatments usually happen at the cancer clinic, and patients can go home that same day. Treatments are given in cycles: could be given daily, weekly, monthly, and continuously by an at-home pump. The duration of your treatments vary, it can take a few minutes, several hours, or a few days.
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Each medication comes with potential side effects. There are several side effects in chemotherapy, but you will not experience all the potential effects. Each circumstance is different. These may not happen to everyone. Your nurse and care team will discuss the specific side effects related to your medication.
These side effects may include:
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