What is chemotherapy and how is it administered?
Chemotherapy is known as systemic therapy because the medicine goes through your whole body by way of your bloodstream. Chemotherapy weakens or destroys cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy, or chemo, is given intravenously through an IV; this is also known as infusion therapy. Sometimes instead of an IV in your vein, a port (a small disc) is inserted temporarily under the skin in your chest. A thin tube, or catheter, attached to the port carries the medicine into a vein. Chemotherapy can also be given orally as a pill.
Your oncologist may want you to have chemotherapy to may make a tumor smaller before surgery or radiation therapy. Or you may have chemotherapy after cancer to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also help radiation therapy and biological therapy work better, or it may be used to destroy cancer that has spread to other parts of your body (metastatic cancer), or cells that have come back (recurrent cancer).
Remember, at CentraState's Cancer Center we believe that knowledge is power. The more you learn about your cancer and its treatment, the better you may feel when you know what to expect.