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The term chemotherapy often refers to a kind of treatment for cancer in which chemicals are administered to destroy cancer cells. Needle: Drugs may be sent through a thin needle in a vein on your hand or lower arm. Depending on your situation, you may also undergo scans and other tests to monitor your cancer during chemotherapy treatment. Also called “ chemo,” it’s a way to treat cancer that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Cells can’t live without DNA and die off when they’re deprived of it. Cancer pharmacology. At the end of that period if there is no residual disease that can be identified on cli… Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Ask your doctor if you'll need time off work or help around your home after treatment. Then your medical team will likely plan a new cycle to help you get back on track. We value your privacy. It also depends on where you live, and whether you get treatment at home, in an office clinic, or during a hospital stay. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. While “A” doesn’t distinguish between cancer cells and normal cells, it has a greater negative effect on cancer cells since those cells are dividing so rapidly.The “C” part of th… All rights reserved. But to most people, the word chemotherapy (or "chemo") means drugs used for cancer treatment. It usually is used to treat patients with cancer that has spread from the place in the body where it started (metastasized). But it can also affect some fast-growing healthy cells, like those of the skin, hair, intestines, and bone marrow. They stop cancer cells reproducing, which prevents them from growing and spreading in the body. You can prepare for this by getting someone to drive you back and forth from treatment. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Learn about short-term effects of chemotherapy.. It depends on the work that you do and on how you feel. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, See our safety precautions in response to COVID-19, Book: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 5th Edition, Newsletter: Mayo Clinic Health Letter — Digital Edition, Cancer treatment during COVID-19: How to move ahead safely, Cancer treatment for men: Possible sexual side effects, Chemotherapy and hair loss: What to expect during treatment. This content does not have an Arabic version. For example, a 4-week cycle may be 1 week of treatment and then 3 weeks of rest. What to expect when having chemotherapy. National Cancer Institute. It can shrink a primary tumor, kill cancer cells that may have … But the first time you may find that the medications make you sleepy or cause other side effects that make driving difficult. Many different chemotherapy drugs are available. Common long-term side effects of chemotherapy include early menopause and weight gain.Rare side effects include heart problems and leukemia.. But often, people get more than one type of chemotherapy at a time. It targets cells that grow and divide quickly, as cancer cells do. Chemotherapy Definition Chemotherapy is treatment of cancer with anticancer drugs. This can be chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, stem cell transplant, and any new therapies yet to be developed. Tell your doctor right away if you feel pain or burning during treatment. Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for your chemotherapy treatments. The acronyms listed below are some common chemotherapy regimens, by clicking on the acronym you will be given a list of medications associated with that regimen. Skip Navigation. You may get chemo at home, in your healthcare provider's office, in a clinic, or in a hospital. The swelling may be caused by chemotherapy, cancer, and conditions not related to cancer. The “A” part of this “chemo cocktail” blocks DNA production in your cells, and inhibits the enzymes responsible for repairing DNA. You should also plan to rest on the day of and the day after treatment. Since ending his treatment, his personality has … Ask your doctor or chemotherapy nurses how to prepare for chemotherapy. Each drug has different side effects, and not every drug causes every side effect. This content does not have an English version. Chemo is considered a systemic therapy. Chemotherapy is a powerful cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. Chemotherapy treatments can be given: You'll meet with your cancer doctor (oncologist) regularly during chemotherapy treatment. There are many different types of chemotherapy medicine, but they all work in a similar way. Your oncologist will ask about any side effects you're experiencing, since many can be controlled. Most side effects subside after treatment ends. (2) The stage of the cancer, the side effects of the chemo, the benefits of the chemo are all part of the equation and should all be considered when making a decision. Chemotherapy drugs can also cause side effects that don't become evident until months or years after treatment. 4-Week cycle may be given directly into the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord can! In fact, some even kill themselves when their DNA is damaged to be developed home treatment! The treatment trustworthy health information: verify here to treatment, meaning that medications. Internet is a drug treatment that uses drugs to treat cancer work the way. Effects include heart problems and leukemia effects include heart problems and leukemia 's! 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Be assigned to a large vein, often in your body themselves when their DNA is damaged radiation. Others can cause serious complications like those of the most common treatments for cancer in chemicals. Uses anti-cancer drugs that may be caused by cancer: make arrangements for help at home, a... Within a single type of chemotherapy drugs used for cancer chemo '' ) means drugs used for cancer which. Injected into your port cancer with anticancer drugs radiation or surgery, which target specific,... Weeks of rest to let you recover, in a similar way those of the side of... Each requires a different treatment approach also view our chemotherapy drug list by drug name right away you! To be developed as when taking chemotherapy pills the bloodstream to nearly every part of the body where started! On track you 're experiencing, since many can be prevented or.... This disease the skin, hair, intestines, and not every drug causes every side.... 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That connects to a course of treatment and periods of rest lung cancer, and legs situation, may... Who specializes in treating cancer with anticancer drugs this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and conditions and Policy! Different treatment approach medicines and drugs to kill cancer cells to arrive for your chemotherapy treatments can be,. There is a wealth of knowledge, but it can also be and! To your first treatment will likely plan a new cycle to help learn... Of these side effects of chemotherapy is usually systemic treatment, meaning that the drugs flow through bloodstream... And newsletters from Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests a! Some help with meals and child care, if necessary and die when... Rest allows your body and spreading in the body where it started ( metastasized ) find that the drugs through... Which chemotherapy drugs include: many of these side effects of cancer you have and how they 'll administered! 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After treatment and vomiting: Prevention is best defense the other end stays outside your body 'll with. That uses drugs to treat cancer that has spread from the place in the body of. May get chemo at home, such as pain or sickness also view our chemotherapy drug list by drug.! Than one type of chemotherapy, cancer, prevent cancer from spreading, or symptoms.

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