Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill the rapidly dividing cancer cells in the body. Medical oncologists are experienced in delivering targeted, individualized chemotherapy while proactively managing side effects.
Chemotherapy (chemo) treatment plans may use a single medication or a combination (or "cocktail") of medications that can be delivered in more than one way. Patients may receive chemo in one or more of the following forms:
  • 1.Injection: Types of injection include:
    • a. Subcutaneous (SQ):Chemo given as a shot just under the skin.
    • b. Intramuscular (IM):Chemo given as a shot directly into a muscle.
    • c. Intravenous (IV):Chemo given as a shot directly into a vein.
2.IV infusion:Chemo medications are dripped through a tube that is attached to a needle and put into a vein.
3.Oral:Chemo taken by mouth as a pill or liquid.
4.Topical:A cream containing the chemo medication that is rubbed into the skin.
5.Intra-arterial(IA):Chemo delivered into an artery that is connected to the tumor.
6.Intraperitoneal(IP):Chemo given directly into the area that contains the intestines, stomach, liver, ovaries, etc. This area is called the peritoneal cavity.
The goal of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells or slow cancer's growth over time. Chemotherapy is often given several times over weeks or months in what is known as a course of treatment. A course of treatment is made up of a series of treatment periods, called cycles. During a cycle, patient may get chemo every day for one or more days. Since chemo also kills normal cells, these chemo days are followed by periods of rest when you receive no treatment. This rest lets your body recover and produce new healthy cells.
    The goals of chemotherapy may vary by each person's situation which include.
    • 1.To cure the cancer: When possible, chemo is used to eliminate cancer cells until they are no longer detected in your body.
    • 2. To control the cancer: Chemo may be used to keep cancer from spreading, slow its growth or destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.
    • 3.To ease cancer symptoms (sometimes called palliative chemotherapy): When cancer is in the advanced stage, chemo may be used to shrink cancer tumors that are causing pain, cough, headache, breathing problems etc.
    Chemotherapy given after surgery or radiation is called adjuvant chemotherapy. The goal of adjuvant therapy is to kill any cancer cells left in the body after surgery or radiation therapy.
    Chemotherapy given before surgery is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The goal of neoadjuvant therapy may be to shrink the cancer tumor to make it easier to be removed surgically.