Chemotherapy treats many types of cancer with either oral or intravenous medications. This treatment is considered systemic because it affects the entire body, not just the cancer cells. Chemotherapy medications attack rapidly growing cancer cells, but they may also attack healthy cells that are growing rapidly. For this reason many cancer patients who receive chemotherapy have side effects like nausea, fatigue, hair loss, anemia and loss of appetite (to name a few).
Getting to know your chemotherapy team
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and recently found out you will need chemotherapy treatments it is important to know you will not be alone on your journey. A team of highly trained medical professionals will be dedicated to providing you the very best care.
Understanding the two types chemotherapy treatment process
Chemotherapy often involves several treatment sessions, spread out over a number of months. There are two ways you may receive chemotherapy treatment:
- Intravenous chemotherapy
In most cases, chemotherapy is administered directly into a vein (intravenously). Intravenous chemotherapy delivers medicine is slowly delivered to your vein. Depending on your specific treatment plan, each session can range from a few hours to several days.
- Oral chemotherapy
Sometimes people are treated with oral medication tablets. Like intravenous chemotherapy, oral chemotherapy requires frequent trips to the doctor’s office to receive your new dose of tablets and to get a check-up. Because you are able to take the medicines at home, it is important to make sure you understand all of the information and instructions. Ingesting too much or too little medication may reduce its effectiveness and may be dangerous.
Determining whether your chemotherapy is working
It is important to note the severity of your side effects do not correlate to the effectiveness of your chemotherapy treatments. Your doctor will be able to determine how effective your chemotherapy treatments are through regular physical exams and medical tests (e.g., blood tests and x-rays).
For effective chemotherapy in Central Jersey contact Regional Cancer Care Associates’ Central Jersey Division (RCCA-CJD) at 732-390-7750. Our compassionate oncologists are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.