Anticancer Drug Therapy (Chemotherapy & Other)

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:

  • Eliminate cancer cells
  • Shrink the tumor
  • Prevent cancer from spreading
  • Relieve symptoms from cancer

Chemotherapy can be given through:

  • Intravenous (IV)
  • By mouth (pill or liquid),
  • Injection
  • Rubbed into the skin as a cream

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.

Side Effects

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:

  • Mouth Sores
  • Sensory changes
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Taste changes
  • Reproductive/Hormonal changes
  • Skin changes
  • Constipation
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • High blood sugars
  • Chemo fog
  • Hair Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty coping
  • Change in your blood counts:
    • Fever & Infection
    • Thrombocytopenia
    • Anemia

Chemotherapy Treatment is offered at CancerCare's:

McDermot & Urgent Care Site
675 McDermot Avenue
Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Stat holidays
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

St. Boniface Hospital Site
409 Taché Avenue
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Phone: 204-237-2559

Victoria Site
2340 Pembina Hwy.
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Phone: 204-477-3328

Grace Site
300 Booth Dr.
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Phone: 204-837-0246


Cancer Helpline: 204-787-8900
Urgent CancerCare Clinic: 204-787-8900     

After-Hours Paging:
Health Sciences Centre: 204-787-2071
St. Boniface Hospital: 204-237-2053

Chemotherapy Information Translations

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When to call

If you:

  • Have new or worsening symptoms
  • Have worsening discomfort due to side effects
  • Management strategies are not working
  • Do not have any follow up, blood work, or chemotherapy appointments scheduled
  • Need refills of your medication
  • Have any questions or concerns