Your medical team is likely to recommend chemotherapy, one of the main treatments for cancer.
Cancer cells divide rapidly causing malignant tumors to grow. Chemotherapy drugs treat cancer by killing any cell in your body that divides rapidly. Unfortunately, chemo drugs can't tell the difference between a cancer cell and a cell that divides rapidly as part of its normal function. Killing of these normal cells causes most of the well-known side effects of chemotherapy: hair loss, nausea and fatigue.
Because chemo drugs are so toxic to your body, your oncologist must monitor the side effects and administer dosages carefully. Here are some of the things you may experience:
- Your treatment will depend on how well your body can tolerate the drugs and their toxicity. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe that will help combat side effects and allow your treatment to continue.
- Some drugs are designed to kill cancer cells at various stages of their life cycle, so you'll have drugs administered on a specific schedule depending on the type of drug prescribed.
- You may take several drugs during treatment. Using chemo drugs in combination with other treatments such as surgery can make the other treatments more effective. In some instances, it is the other treatments that help the chemo to be more effective.
You can see how important your Riverside oncologist's experience and skill becomes when administering chemotherapy treatments. Treatment depends on selecting the right drug at the right time at the right dose for your cancer type and stage and for you as an individual. Riverside physicians combine that skill and experience with compassion to provide you with the most effective cancer treatments available today.
This section contains information about what to expect from chemotherapy as well as other resources for treatment information. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor and staff questions during this important treatment.