National Cancer Institute. Eating during cancer treatment: Tips to make food tastier, Get ready for possible side effects of chemotherapy, Infographic: Scalp Cooling Therapy for Cancer, Safe cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells anywhere in the body. Also called " chemo " for short. Catheter: It’s a soft, thin tube. Some chemotherapy side effects are mild and treatable, while others can cause serious complications. The truth is chemotherapy isn't only for cancer patients, and affects each patient differently depending on how it is used. It depends on the kind of cancer you have and how far along it is. See more. Sometimes, it treats cancer by itself, but more often it’s used in combination with: You may have chemotherapy in “cycles,” which means a period of treatment and then a period of rest. While “A” doesn’t distinguish between cancer cells and normal cells, it has a greater negative effect on cancer cells since those cells are dividing so rapidly.The “C” part of th… Purpose The main purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. Purpose The main purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy and you: Support for people with cancer. The other end stays outside your body and is used to deliver chemotherapy or other drugs, or to draw blood. Chemotherapy nausea and vomiting: Prevention is best defense. Getting a cancer diagnosis has the potential to completely upend your world. Cancer pharmacology. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Accessed Sept. 26, 2019. Medical Definition of chemotherapy : the therapeutic use of chemical agents to treat disease Pyrazinamide is one of the most important drugs in modern chemotherapy of … It can shrink a primary tumor, kill cancer cells that may have … It can be used at any stage of an illness if there are troubling symptoms, such as pain or sickness. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. At home, such as when taking chemotherapy pills. Cells can’t live without DNA and die off when they’re deprived of it. Pump: Often attached to catheters or ports, it controls the amount of chemotherapy drugs, and how fast they get into your body. But the first time you may find that the medications make you sleepy or cause other side effects that make driving difficult. Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for your chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells anywhere in the body. Also called “ chemo,” it’s a way to treat cancer that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatments can be given: You'll meet with your cancer doctor (oncologist) regularly during chemotherapy treatment. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. The needle can be left in place for treatments that last more than a day. Also called “chemo,” it’s a way to treat cancer that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Prepare for your first treatment. Chemo definition, chemotherapy or a chemotherapy treatment. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/chemo-and-you. Chemotherapy is most often used to treat cancer, since cancer cells grow and multiply much more quickly than most cells in the body. But often, people get more than one type of chemotherapy at a time. It can also be used to reduce or control the side effects of cancer treatments. Study finds new way to make chemotherapy more effective against pancreatic cancer, Genetically manipulating protein level in colon cancer cells can improve effectiveness of chemotherapy, Mayo Clinic study finds, In the Loop: How fruit flies are helping cancer patients, Alternative chemotherapy offers hope for late-stage cancers, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Together you can decide what's right for you. Click the drug name to learn how it works and common side effects. The acronyms listed below are some common chemotherapy regimens, by clicking on the acronym you will be given a list of medications associated with that regimen. When is chemotherapy used? It usually stays in place until all your treatment cycles are finished. There are no standards for establishing chemotherapy acronyms so there is a lack of consistency. This content does not have an English version. Needle: Drugs may be sent through a thin needle in a vein on your hand or lower arm. On days you don’t feel well, you may want to see if you can work fewer hours or work from home. Chemotherapy (chemo) is a type of treatment that includes a medication or combination of medications to treat cancer. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment where medicine is used to kill cancer cells. It usually is used to treat patients with cancer that has spread from the place in the body where it started (metastasized). Depending on your situation, you may also undergo scans and other tests to monitor your cancer during chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy: using chemicals to kill cancer cells; Radiation therapy: using X-rays to kill cancer cells The same cancer type in one individual is very different from that cancer in another individual. Mayo Clinic. This means it may affect your entire body. These tests can give your doctor an idea of how your cancer is responding to treatment, and your treatment may be adjusted accordingly. Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body.Chemotherapy is most often used to treat cancer, since cancer cells grow and multiply much more quickly than most cells in the body.Many different chemotherapy drugs are available. Ask your doctor if you'll need time off work or help around your home after treatment. Not all chemo drugs cause hair loss. Chemo can cure many types of early cancer. Edema is a condition in which fluid builds up in your body’s tissues. It usually is used to treat patients with cancer that has spread from the place in the body where it started (metastasized). At the end of that period if there is no residual disease that can be identified on cli… (2) The stage of the cancer, the side effects of the chemo, the benefits of the chemo are all part of the equation and should all be considered when making a decision. The goal of chemo is to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatment can be continuous, or it may alternate between periods of treatment and periods of rest to let you recover. The swelling may be caused by chemotherapy, cancer, and conditions not related to cancer. 6th ed. You can prepare for this by getting someone to drive you back and forth from treatment. Most cancer chemotherapeutic drugs are given IV (into a vein) or IM (into muscle). Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, See our safety precautions in response to COVID-19, Book: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 5th Edition, Newsletter: Mayo Clinic Health Letter — Digital Edition, Cancer treatment during COVID-19: How to move ahead safely, Cancer treatment for men: Possible sexual side effects, Chemotherapy and hair loss: What to expect during treatment. Chemo can help cure cancer, prevent cancer from spreading, and relieve symptoms caused by cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you feel pain or burning during treatment. We value your privacy. During this time, it may help to get some help with meals and child care, if necessary. With infusion chemo, you go to the hospital for a few hours of … Unlike radiation or surgery, which target specific areas, chemo can work throughout your body. Ask your doctor for the details of your chemotherapy treatments so that you can make arrangements for work, children, pets or other commitments. Common long-term side effects of chemotherapy include early menopause and weight gain.Rare side effects include heart problems and leukemia.. It depends on your overall health, the type of cancer you have, how far along it is, and the amount and type of chemotherapy drugs. What to expect when having chemotherapy. Treatments like surgery and radiation can be categorized as “local treatments,” … Watch for signs of infection around your catheter. Then your medical team will likely plan a new cycle to help you get back on track. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Allscripts EPSi. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. On the flip side, if a cancer is "chemorefractory," it does not shrink or vanish in response to the administered chemo drugs. Adjuvant Chemotherapy Some anticancer agents are taken orally (by mouth). Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body. Make a donation. (3) The internet is a wealth of knowledge, but it's also a wealth of garbage. In some cases, people are treated with a single type of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a widely used class of drugs to treat many different disorders including, but not limited to: cancers, blood disorders, and a … There’s no way to know for sure. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Chemotherapy for Cancer - Chemotherapy: How It Works and How You'll Feel, Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments, 10 Things You Didn't Know About Chemotherapy, How Chemotherapy Affects Your Body After Treatment, Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer: Frequently Asked Questions, Moving Forward After You're Done With Chemotherapy, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, Shrink a tumor before radiation therapy or surgery -- called neoadjuvant chemotherapy, Destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery or radiation therapy -- called adjuvant chemotherapy, Make other therapies (biological or radiation) more effective, Destroy cancer cells that return or spread to other parts of your body, The goal of treatment: cure, control growth, or ease, The way your body responds to the treatment. To stay logged in, please refresh the page or, if you are working on a form, click on the submit button to save your work. It depends on the work that you do and on how you feel. Chemotherapy drugs can be given in different ways, including: Your doctor determines how often you'll receive chemotherapy treatments based on what drugs you'll receive, the characteristics of your cancer and how well your body recovers after each treatment. This is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. It depends on the type of chemotherapy, how much you get, and how often you get it. Q. But it can also affect some fast-growing healthy cells, like those of the skin, hair, intestines, and bone marrow. Your doctor can tell you in general how much the chemotherapy will affect your usual activities, but it's difficult to predict exactly how you'll feel. Accessed Oct. 1, 2019. Your genes may also play a part. Chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or in combination to treat a wide variety of cancers. A nurse may insert a needle into your port to give you chemotherapy drugs or draw blood. NCI's Dictionary of Cancer Terms provides easy-to-understand definitions for words and phrases related to cancer and medicine. You might wish to eat a light meal beforehand in case your chemotherapy medications cause nausea. You may need to: Make arrangements for help at home and at work. Curative chemotherapy aims to “cure the cancer,” meaning it is intended to eliminate all cancerous cells, resulting in what doctors call “complete remission.” The majority of patients receiving chemotherapy with the goal of cure are receiving chemotherapy as well as surgery or radiation. Chemotherapy drugs can also cause side effects that don't become evident until months or years after treatment. Cancer Chemotherapy: MedlinePlus Health Topic - English Quimioterapia para el cáncer: Tema de salud de MedlinePlus - español (Spanish) Chemotherapy treatment schedules vary. Accessed Oct. 1, 2019. Chemotherapy (chemo) uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously (injected into your vein) or by mouth. Palliative treatment is designed to relieve symptoms, and improve your quality of life. A social worker may be able to help you learn about what the law allows. Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapeutic agents) as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen.Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent (which almost always involves combinations of drugs), or it may aim to prolong life or to reduce symptoms (palliative chemotherapy). © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Your doctor puts one end into a large vein, often in your chest area. For example, a 4-week cycle may be 1 week of treatment and then 3 weeks of rest. Chemotherapy Definition Chemotherapy is treatment of cancer with anticancer drugs. Within a single type of cancer, such as breast cancer, researchers are discovering subtypes that each requires a different treatment approach. Chemotherapy is a powerful cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Have a friend or family member drive you to your first treatment. Where you'll receive your chemotherapy treatments depends on your situation. That doesn't mean chemo has no benefit. Chemotherapy is sometimes needed to kill any leftover cancer cells. Some chemotherapy drugs can damage the ovaries and … Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Most chemotherapy treatments are given in an outpatient clinic, which means most people are able to continue working and doing their usual activities during chemotherapy. How does chemotherapy work? My 68-year-old husband was diagnosed with lung cancer, had radiation and chemo, and is currently in remission. There are a variety of settings in which chemotherapy may be used in people with cancer: Some chemotherapy drugs have proved useful in treating other conditions, such as: Side effects of chemotherapy drugs can be significant. In some cases, employers are required by law to adjust your schedule when you have cancer treatment. Tell your doctor if you notice any signs of infection around your port. They stop cancer cells reproducing, which prevents them from growing and spreading in the body. Chemotherapy and sex: Is sexual activity OK during treatment? There are many different types of chemotherapy medicine, but they all work in a similar way. Chemotherapy Definition Chemotherapy is treatment of cancer with anticancer drugs. Even when chemo can't cure people, it can often give them … Chemo … It uses certain drugs to kill cancer cells or to stop them from growing and spreading … Learn about short-term effects of chemotherapy.. The “A” part of this “chemo cocktail” blocks DNA production in your cells, and inhibits the enzymes responsible for repairing DNA. Many different chemotherapy drugs are available. It may be helpful to arrive for your first chemotherapy treatment well rested. All rights reserved. Your doctor chooses which chemotherapy drugs you'll receive based on several factors, including: Discuss your treatment options with your doctor. If you need chemotherapy, a team of highly trained medical professionals will work together to give you the best possible care. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. The rest allows your body to make new healthy cells. Your doctor may be able to help you manage some of the more severe side effects of chemotherapy. Your user session will expire in 2 minutes. You may also view our chemotherapy drug list by drug name. You should also plan to rest on the day of and the day after treatment. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. Mayo Clinic Q and A: Should you get vaccinations with a suppressed immune system? After treatment completion, a period of time is allowed to go by so the maximum effect is achieved, with the tumor shrinking or the malignant cells dying. Occasionally, chemo may be given directly into the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. NIH National Cancer Institute: “Radiation Therapy for Cancer,” “Biological Therapies for Cancer,” “Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer.”, National Cancer Society: “What Is Targeted Cancer Therapy?”, OncoLink.org: “Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (IP Chemo).”. All rights reserved. Ask your doctor or chemotherapy nurses how to prepare for chemotherapy. Although starting treatment like chemotherapy can be reassuring, it can also be confusing and scary. Early menopause. Since ending his treatment, his personality has … Chemotherapy refers to the use of any drug to treat any disease. If a cancer responds to the chemotherapy, meaning it shrinks or vanishes after a person receives the chemo drugs, the cancer is described as "chemosensitive." Though chemotherapy is an effective way to treat many types of cancer, chemotherapy treatment also carries a risk of side effects. It’s common to feel ill or very tired after chemotherapy. It's important to know that not all medicines and drugs to treat cancer work the same way. Chemotherapy is usually systemic treatment, meaning that the drugs flow through the bloodstream to nearly every part of the body. It targets cells that grow and divide quickly, as cancer cells do. 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