Chemotherapy - Cancer Chemotherapy Treatment - AZ Cancer Center

What is Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a specialized medication used in the treatment of cancer. There are many different types of chemotherapy medications. Cancer is an often rapid and unpredictable multiplying of unhealthy cells. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that kills these cells in their reproducing stages to stop them from spreading or slow their growth. Chemotherapy also kills healthy cells, which leads to side effects.

How does Chemotherapy work

Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells. Non-cancerous cells grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide and multiply rapidly creating more abnormal, or cancerous, cells in the body. There are often side-effects when a patient receives chemotherapy because the treatment also slows the growth of healthy cells. Non-cancerous cells typically repair themselves after chemotherapy.

What are the side effects of Chemotherapy

Everyone’s bodies react differently to medications. Side effects and toxicity profiles are always discussed in detail as part of chemotherapy teaching. Some common side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain, and hair loss. We have great experience with controlling some of the side effects with medications provided by our in house pharmacy or available for pick up by the pharmacy of choice. Most side effects are short term and resolve with completion of therapy.

Treatment options

Our dedicated physicians, nurses and staff will guide you and your family through your treatment options, tailoring our services to your unique, individual needs.

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