Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs which interfere with cancer cell growth and reproduction. It is used to kill cancer cells, control their growth or relieve pain symptoms. Chemotherapy can be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery or radiation, to eliminate all cancer cells.
Healthy cells in your body are also affected by chemotherapy drugs. This causes the side effects associated with treatments. Your care team will work with you to balance the beneficial effects of killing cancer cells with the damage to normal cells. Common side effects may include:
- Temporary hair loss
- Increased risk of infection
- Increased sun sensitivity
- Numbness or weakness in the hands and feet
Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein, injected into the body or delivered orally by mouth. The duration of a chemotherapy treatment session may range from a few minutes to a few hours. Most chemotherapy sessions at Yuma Regional Cancer Center are done on an outpatient basis.
Your cancer type and stage will determine your individual treatment plan. Chemotherapy is administered by nursing professionals under the direction of your medical oncologist. Our pharmacists and nurses are highly trained in the preparation and management of chemotherapy-related drugs.
At Yuma Regional Cancer Center, we strive to make our patients comfortable and safe while they are here for chemotherapy treatments. We encourage patients and family members to ask questions and participate in the treatment process.