Our singular focus on cancer gives our doctors at Cancer Care Associates extensive experience in identifying what makes each person’s cancer unique. If we determine that chemotherapy is the best treatment choice for you, your care team will know which specific drugs will be most effective.
Your care team will take into consideration the type of cancer you have, where in the body it started, what the cancer cells look like under the microscope and whether they have spread. They can also suggest strategies to minimise or manage symptoms or adjust the drug or your dosage as necessary.
So, what is Chemotherapy or chemo? Chemotherapy is a treatment approach that uses potent drugs, called cytotoxic drugs, to destroy cancer cells or to stop or slow their growth.
Chemo can be given intravenously, which is into the veins via a cannula, central line or orally.
Sometimes only one drug is used but often two or more drugs are given at the same time. This is called combination treatment. Other forms of drugs include:
Because it often works by attacking rapidly dividing cells, chemotherapy can harm healthy cells, such as those that make blood cells or cause your hair to grow, as well as cancerous ones. Damage to healthy cells may cause you to experience side effects during or after your treatment, or both.
Common symptoms of Chemotherapy are Anaemia, nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea, Fatigue, hair loss and loss of appetite.
It’s very important to us that we preserve your quality of life while you’re in our care. Our doctors and nurses carefully monitor you during and after your treatment and will suggest strategies to minimise or manage symptoms or adjust the drug or your dosage as necessary.
Together, you and your doctor will decide on a treatment plan and develop a schedule that works for you.
Depending on the type of cancer you have the chemotherapy treatment can be provided in many ways. It may be given orally, through a needle inserted into the vein or directly into the organ or tissues affected by the cancer, it also can come in a cream form.
Chemotherapy is usually given in multiple courses or what is commonly referred to as cycles and is usually for a set period – this is what the Medical Oncologist will refer to as your individual treatment plan. Having the treatment in cycles allows time for the healthy cells in your body to recover between treatments.
If you require Intravenous (IV) Chemotherapy, this is considered as an inpatient service. This means that before receiving your Chemotherapy treatment, you will be admitted into one of our Cancer Care Centres which have been purposefully designed to make you feel at ease during your treatment with comfort, care and warmth in mind.
Rest assured that your Oncologist will be able to talk you through the process and answer any questions or concerns you may have.