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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

Champions for Your Health.

Chemotherapy (“chemo”) is a gold standard treatment for cancer, and it uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells and control their growth. At Manderson Cancer Center, we administer intravenous (IV) chemotherapy in an outpatient setting. We also provide supportive drug therapies, including IV fluids, anti-nausea medication, and antibiotics.

Patients will enjoy a warm, patient-friendly environment designed for maximum comfort and privacy. We understand how cancer is a personal, emotional experience, and we are always ready to meet the needs of our patients by providing education and helping them understand how to navigate their treatment. During their treatment sessions, our patients are invited to relax in reclining chairs, watch TV, visit with other patients and our staff, and more about the area freely.

What Is Chemo?

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment often prescribed to cancer patients in the form of intravenous (IV) infusions. The powerful chemo drugs are designed to kill fast-growing cells in the body, because cancer cells multiply much more quickly than most other cells. There is no universal chemo drug, and today there are more than 100 drugs for cancer treatment. Each drug is chosen based on the type and stage of the patient’s cancer and for its potential to control tumor growth and shrink tumors before surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is sometimes prescribed after a known tumor is removed by surgery to destroy any microscopic cancer cells that may still be present.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

While chemotherapy is an effective treatment for many cancer types, many patients experience side effects, which can range from mild to severe, causing serious complications. For most patients, their chemotherapy side effects are only temporary and can be treated with non-invasive complementary therapies to help alleviate some of the more severe symptoms.

Common chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain
  • Mouth sores
  • Constipation
  • Easy bruising
  • Depression
  • Numbness of weakness in the hands and feet
  • “Chemo Brain” – including cognitive issues such as memory problems, trouble concentrating, and other mental symptoms
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