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What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment. Use medications (drugs) to kill cancer cells.

How does chemotherapy work?

Cancer cells grow and divide rapidly. Chemotherapy or delay the growth of cancer cells. But it can also affect healthy cells that grow and divide rapidly. These include, for example:

Damage to healthy cells may cause side effects. But often the side effects get better or go away after chemotherapy.

What does chemotherapy?

Depending on the type of cancer you have and how much you have grown or has spread (watered), chemotherapy can:

How is chemotherapy used?

Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment used against cancer. But in most cases also receive other treatments of chemotherapy. These may include surgery (an operation), radiation therapy, or biological therapy.

Chemotherapy may be used to:

How does my doctor decides what chemotherapy drugs should be used? Your doctor will make the decision based on the following:

Where do I go for chemotherapy? You may receive chemotherapy:

Anywhere you are going to receive chemotherapy, your doctor or nurse will pay attention to side effects. Furthermore, any change will be required medicine.
How often will I receive chemotherapy?

The treatment program (“treatment schedule”) for chemotherapy may vary. The frequency and duration of sessions of chemotherapy depend on:

You may receive chemotherapy in cycles. A cycle is a period of chemotherapy treatment followed by a rest period. For example, your doctor may prescribe a week of chemotherapy and then three weeks of rest. These 4 weeks form a cycle. The rest period gives your body a chance to build new healthy cells.

I can? Miss a session of chemotherapy?

Not good to miss a chemotherapy treatment. But sometimes your doctor or nurse may change your chemotherapy schedule. This could be due to the side effects you are having. If that happens, your doctor or nurse will explain what to do and when to start treatment again.

How is chemotherapy given?

Chemotherapy may be given in many forms:

Things to know about intravenous chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy often occurs through a fine needle. This needle is placed in a vein in your hand or forearm. Nurse will insert the needle at the beginning of each treatment. Then it will be removed when the treatment ends. If you feel pain or burning while receiving intravenous chemotherapy, immediately tell your doctor or nurse.

Chemotherapy is given into a vein often injected through a catheter or portal. This is sometimes done with the help of a pump.

What my body feel during chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy affects people in different ways. The way they feel their body depend on:

Doctors and nurses can not know for sure how you will feel during chemotherapy.

Some people do not feel well right after chemotherapy. The most common side effect is fatigue (feeling very tired and lack of energy).You can prepare to face the fatigue:

There are many ways to help control the side effects of chemotherapy. For more information, see “A summary of the side effects.”

? I can work during chemotherapy?

Many people can work during chemotherapy if they change their schedule to fit how they feel. Whether you can work or not depends on the type of work you do. If your job allows, you may want to ask if you can work part time or from home the days you do not feel well.

There are laws that require some employers to change working hours for people with cancer to accommodate them while receiving treatment (“medical leave” in English). Talk to your employer about how you can adjust your work during chemotherapy. You can talk to a social worker for more on these laws.

I can take? Prescription and non-prescription medicines while receiving chemotherapy?

That depends on:

Take only the medicines your doctor or nurse approval. Tell your doctor or nurse about all prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including for example:

One way to tell your doctor or nurse about these medications is to take all the bottles you have. Your doctor or nurse needs to know:

Talk to your doctor or nurse before taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine. Also tell about vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements or natural tonics, herbal tea or taking.

? I can take vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements, or herbal tea while receiving chemotherapy?

Some of these products may change the effect of chemotherapy. It is therefore important that before starting chemotherapy, tell your doctor or nurse if you are taking any of the following things:

During chemotherapy, talk to your doctor before taking any of these products.

How do I know if the chemo is working? Your doctor:

You can not tell if the chemotherapy is working based on side effects. Some people believe that if they have serious side effects, that means that the chemotherapy is working well. Or maybe they think if they do not have serious side effects, that means that chemotherapy is not working. The reality is that the side effects have nothing to do with how effective the cancer chemotherapy.

How much is chemotherapy?

It is difficult to know how much it costs chemotherapy. That depends on:

Do you pay my insurance by chemotherapy?

Ask a representative from your insurance company what your plan covers. Some questions you may want to ask include:

What is the best way to work with my insurance plan?

What are clinical trials? ? I can participate in?

Clinical studies on cancer (also called cancer clinical trials) test new treatments for people with cancer. These studies can be:

The goal of all these trials is to find better ways to help people who have cancer.

Your doctor or nurse may suggest that you participate in a clinical trial. But you can also tell them that you are interested in participating in a clinical trial. Before agreeing to participate in a clinical trial, you should know about: